Allbirds for Health Workers During COVID-19 Crisis

Around the world, there is a shortage of personal protective gear that will keep health workers safe as they care for patients in COVID-19 wards, Elizabeth Segran reports for Fast Company magazine. While companies are scrambling to create masks and gowns, several shoe brands, including Allbirds, are donating shoes to medical professionals so they can stay comfortable as they spend long days on their feet.

Allbirds, co-founded by former All White, New Zealander Tim Brown, recently announced on Instagram that it would be donating free Wool Runners – its best known style – to healthcare workers. Anybody interested simply had to send an email to the company with their credentials and mailing address. In four days, the company donated US$500,000 worth of shoes, which is about 5000 pairs, exhausting the supply of shoes the brand had devoted to this cause.

There is a long wait-list of healthcare workers who have requested shoes, so Allbirds has pivoted to a “buy-one-give-one” model. Customers can bundle a shoe purchase with a donation that will split the cost of delivering a pair of shoes to someone on the list, Fast Company reports.

“It’s a small thing, these guys are on the frontline of fighting this thing and we sort of felt like it was a nice way to acknowledge some of the hard work that they’re doing,” Brown told TVNZ.

The idea for the initiative came from the original coronavirus epicentre in China, TVNZ reports.

“We had a valued customer of ours actually buy a bunch of shoes and start to give them out to medical staff in Wuhan. We thought it was such a neat thing that as this crisis started to escalate we thought why not do it in America,” Brown told the broadcaster.

According to TVNZ, Brown has plans to extend the initiative to New Zealand, as the nation remains in lockdown.

Original article by Elizabeth Segran, Fast Company, March 26, 2020.

Photo by Allbirds.

Tags: AllBirds  COVID-19  Fast Company  Tim Brown  TVNZ  

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