In 2021, the footwear startup Allbirds was extending its product range into apparel and expanding beyond its online store to open more retail stores around the world. It was also freely sharing its know-how and material innovations with its competitors to try to scale its efforts to decarbonize fashion, by substituting natural materials for conventional petroleum-based materials and leather. But the company also had to find ways to remain differentiated, based on design and comfort.
Harvard Business School professor Mike Toffel and Allbirds co-founder and co-CEO Joey Zwillinger discuss the growing environmental impact of the fashion industry and how the company managed the tension between advancing its environmental mission and staying ahead of competitors in the case, Allbirds: Decarbonizing Fashion.
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