Allbirds teamed up with the coolest little capital in the world for Allbirds And Wellington, an eight-day citywide celebration of Wellington artisans and creators focused on quality, craft, and imagination.
Check out this podcast with Tim Brown and Idealog publisher and editorial director Ben Fahy:
Co-founded by Wellington native and former All Whites skipper Tim Brown, Allbirds has harnessed the unique and sustainable qualities of New Zealand merino wool to produce the Wool Runner, a shoe literally made out of wool. Although these days the company is based across the Pacific Ocean in San Francisco, the Allbirds And Wellington project saw the company team up with craft brewery Garage Project, coffee roaster Coffee Supreme, and chocolatier Wellington Chocolate Factory.
Each business inspired a limited-edition Allbirds And Wellington Wool Runner. Black in colour, each shoe included detailing capturing the essence of each partner brand. And in the true spirit of collaboration, each partner created an Allbirds-inspired product including a Garage Project Beer, Coffee Supreme special roast coffee, and a Wellington Chocolate Factory chocolate bar. Illustrations for the Garage project beer can and the imagery for a social media campaign for the collaboration were created by Toby Morris.
Brown says that while Allbirds is headquartered in California, the Land of the Long White Cloud remains the company’s spiritual home. “Allbirds And Wellington enables us to bring together the Wellington community to support local brands that approach their craft in a novel and natural way, while also paying tribute to Allbirds’ Kiwi roots,” he says. “Hopefully we’ll also be able to introduce these stellar Wellington brands to an international audience.”
Brown says Garage Project stood out as an example of a company looking at what everyone else was doing and then not doing that. Rather than play by the rules, he says, they do their own thing and are constantly evolving and building momentum. Its prodiuct line is "almost like an Instagram feed," he says.
The collaboration also came as Allbirds celebrated one year since the launch of its signature shoes. It was similar to Allbirds And San Francisco, which saw Allbirds open a pop-up shop in the Bay Area and team up with a variety of local businesses.
During the eight-day programme, Allbirds fans were also able to try on and buy limited-edition Wool Runners at a pop-up store located at creative video agency Wrestler in the hip Te Aro neighbourhood. If that wasn’t enough, Allbirds collaborated with artistic Wellington natives Andrew J. Steel and Toby Morris to craft a mural celebrating the partnership program. The two-story mural was painted at the beginning of the month in the Eva St alleyway.
So what’s the takeaway from all this? Allbirds may be flying high and far, but it always returns to its nest.
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