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Birds threatened by climate change inspire shoe collection from Allbirds and Audubon

Painted Redstart. Photo by Gary Botello

This week, in the lead-up to Earth Day, the National Audubon Society announced that it teamed up with sustainable shoe brand Allbirds to create a limited-edition collection of shoes inspired by climate-endangered birds. The company is releasing one new style each day this week in sizes for men and women.

Each shoe style is inspired by a bird species that was identified as climate-threatened or climate-endangered by Audubon’s scientists in the groundbreaking 2014 Birds and Climate Report. The collection reimagines the distinct personalities and colors of five birds in the popular Tree Runner and Wool Runner lines, which are made from natural and renewable materials like ZQ-certified merino wool, eucalyptus fiber and recycled plastic bottles. 

The climate-threatened and climate-endangered species featured in the collection are:

  • The Painted Redstart, found in the Southwest, the Scarlet Tanager that migrates long distances, and the voracious insect-eating Mountain Bluebird, all of which have summer homes that are shrinking and shifting so rapidly due to climate change that they may not be able to adapt fast enough.
  • The Pygmy Nuthatch, a bird that tends to gather in fussy flocks, and the Allen’s Hummingbird, that only lays two eggs per clutch, are two tiny birds included in the collection that are climate threatened because their summer and winter homes are shrinking and shifting dramatically due to rising temperatures and the impact of climate change. 
This Allbirds shoe in the Tree Runners style is inspired by the Painted Redstart.

“While Audubon has deep roots and a long history, we’re constantly reinventing ourselves. We’re nine years into the New Audubon: we aren’t your grandparents’ Audubon anymore but we think they’d be proud of what we’ve become,” said David Yarnold, president and CEO of the National Audubon Society. “When I bought my first pair of Allbirds, I was sold on the comfort, the quality and the message. Like Audubon, taking care of our planet and birds is what drives Allbirds. They’re a model for corporate engagement and we’re immensely grateful for their commitment to conserving our planet and curbing the effects of climate change for birds and people.”  

“Allbirds and Audubon are tightly aligned in our shared commitment to preserving nature,” said Joey Zwillinger and Tim Brown, co-founders and co-CEOs of Allbirds. “Our primary goal as a company is to create great products that are as sustainable as possible, and we’re constantly looking for partners who are similarly dedicated to environmental causes. The health of birds is a strong indicator for the health of the planet, and Audubon has been working for over a century to take care of our friends in flight. We’re proud to celebrate Earth Day by donating all the proceeds from our limited-edition collection to this incredible grassroots organization.”

As part of the campaign, Allbirds sponsored this promotional post on the New York Times website entitled “Why Our Future May Depend on the Fate of Birds.”


Reports show North America’s birds face shifting, shrinking ranges in years ahead

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