Allbirds on Tuesday announced its first product outside of the footwear space, Trino Socks, made from a sustainable yarn that blends the brand's tree and merino materials, according to details emailed to Retail Dive.
The socks will come in three styles: Tubers ($16), Hiders ($12) and Quarters ($14), as well as six different colors, including warterfall, steel, onyx, sienna, flamingo and canary. The move was inspired by the fact that nearly half of customers wear socks with their Allbirds, the company said.
The socks, which are made to be "super cooling, breathable, and absorbent" will be available online and also at Allbirds' five U.S. retail locations.
As with many other direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands, Allbirds has flown outside of its core product into an adjacent category: socks.
The same has occurred across the industry as DTC brands gain popularity, and use that to expand into new spaces. Casper, for example, expanded from mattresses to offer pillows, sheets, blankets and even a smart nightlight, while Away has launched new products in the luggage space since its founding and also has plans for apparel, wellness and lifestyle categories.
Part of that trend is that these products offer a growth opportunity to small brands that launched with one or two core products. But the other piece is that, more and more, companies are trying to pitch themselves as lifestyle brands that can offer every product to fit the given lifestyle they represent.
For Allbirds, that lifestyle is tied closely to the environment. Like its shoes, the Trino socks are built on sustainability and comfort, two of the driving tenants of Allbirds' business model. While the company highlighted the sustainability of its socks in the release, noting that they are 100% carbon neutral, the brand also touted a shift in the way it talks about the environment.
"Allbirds is making a commitment to talk less about how sustainable they are and talk more about the research and solution developments they are focused on and making those findings and solutions available for the rest of the industry," a company spokesperson wrote in an email.
The company hopes the rest of the retail industry will incorporate more sustainable practices and use more materials that are good for the environment.
"In order for us to keep our planet healthy, we need to work together," the company said in a release about the materials used to make its Trino socks. "In the not-so-distant future, the very thing that makes Allbirds different, our commitment to sustainability and making better things in a better way, should be unremarkable. Sustainability will be table stakes."