Close to a year after stepping into the apparel market for the first time, Allbirds on Tuesday introduced an activewear line, dubbed Allbirds Natural Run Apparel. The collection begins with leggings, bike shorts, run shorts, run tanks, run form tanks and run tees, according to details emailed to Retail Dive.
The DTC brand's "sustainable activewear" is the first performance apparel line to be entirely labeled with its carbon footprint, according to the company. It primarily uses eucalyptus tree fiber and merino wool.
The activewear line has been in development for two years and has gone through over 70 iterations, with "thousands" of hours of testing, according to Allbirds.
This isn't Allbirds' first journey into the performance market. In April last year, the DTC brand debuted its first performance footwear with a running shoe called the "Dasher."
A few months later, the company raised $100 million in Series E funding, noting that it planned to use the funding to expand into new categories. Allbirds first did that with the debut of its apparel line in October, and now it's extending its reach further with an activewear line to accompany its performance footwear.
According to the company, the performance apparel line "met industry benchmarks for breathability, sweat-wicking, quick-drying, and comfort stretch." Its leggings are up to two times more breathable than synthetic pairs on the market, Allbirds said.
As is the case with most things Allbirds does, sustainability is at the core of the collection.
"As with all of our products, we packed Natural Run Apparel full of premium natural fibres, designed with carbon consciousness in mind," the company said. "Unlike most sportswear brands that put their innovation muscle into oil-based plastic or default to off-the-rack synthetic material blends, we invest our R&D resources into developing low-emission natural alternatives while prioritizing recycled resources to fill in the gaps."
The DTC brand has plans to reach 75% natural or recycled materials in all of the products it makes by 2025. Just this April, Allbirds joined the latest class of Climate Neutral Certified companies, an annual designation for businesses that offset their carbon emissions.
As far as category expansions go, activewear has been a relatively popular one for DTC brands lately. Period underwear brand Thinx in January moved into the category, and swimwear brand Cupshe debuted an athleisure collection earlier this week. Traditional brands in the athletic space have also been shifting to a more DTC model, with Nike prioritizing its own stores and digital channels, and Wilson opening its first store in a strategy shift toward more DTC sales.