NO SHEEP HARMED: WOOL 'RUNNERS'
WOOL ATHLETIC SHOES Are you looking for an earth-friendly alternative to shoes made with synthetic materials? How about ‘runners’ constructed with 100% merino wool uppers and sustainably-grown castor bean-derived polyurethane insoles? Tim Brown and Joey Zwillinger, the founders of shoe company AllBirds proudly state that the significance of their being ZQ-certified means “no sheep were harmed in the making of these shoes”. What other shoe manufacturer would need to make this statement?
Other socially conscious bragging rights claimed by this San Francisco-based start-up: 1) ambitions and progress toward becoming a certified B-corporation, “meaning we meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency”, 2) shipping shoe-box packaging that uses 40% less materials than traditional methods, and 3) partnership with charity organization Soles4Souls to donate used shoes (discussed in a previous BLOG post May 11, 2016 with link on the GENEROSITY page).
Their main assertion is that the shoes are extremely comfortable and attractively stylish. I am hoping to trial these shoes, partly because I agree they look great and mostly because I wish to support this environment-saving and generosity story. I would wear them for leisure. The product’s reviews are favorable and enthusiastic (WIRED, FAST COMPANY, and POPSUGAR, among others). Could these shoes work for long distance, endurance running and training?
It’s exciting and promising to learn of how entrepreneurs are thinking and working to make a better life and world for many, by creating such novel products.
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Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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