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Source: Allbirds

This New Line Of Shoes Is Made From Trees

By Tessa Love

While many shoes are made from natural fibers like cotton or leather, athletic shoes take a different approach. Needing to be breathable and moisture-wicking, makers of running shoes often opt for synthetic fibers derived from petroleum-based materials. In other words, those sporty joggers are not environmentally friendly. Synthetic materials are toxic to produce, and when they've been worn out by your workouts, they'll stick around in a landfill for a long time after. 

That's where brands like Allbirds comes in. The San Francisco shoe startup catapulted to popularity two years ago with its stylish, minimalistic, and sporty shoes that had the tech sect and the fashion world swooning. But there's more to this brand than meets the eye. Instead of being constructed out of synthetic fibers with a rubber soul, Allbirds' shoes were composed of a fine merino wool upper and a base made from castor bean oil, a natural substitute for plastic and rubber. 

The wool is not only breathable and wicking, it's also one of the most sustainable natural fibers out there. Sheep are part of the natural carbon cycle, consuming the organic carbon stored in plants and converting it to wool—50 percent of the weight of wool is pure organic carbon. Plus Allbirds sources its wool from sustainably and ethically raised sheep in New Zealand. All of this has given Allbirds street credit as not only a stylish brand, but a green one.