Photo courtesy of New Zealand Merino (@nzmerinoco)

Our Beliefs

Joey Zwillinger
3 min readMar 3, 2020

At Allbirds, we’re on a mission to make better things in a better way. Better for you, and better for the planet, too. And while we’re hard at work, there are a few truths we hold onto that help guide our day-to-day.

First and foremost, climate change is an apocalyptic problem. It’s the number one issue facing our generation. This problem belongs to all of us, not just a select few.

Second, and almost equally important, we admit we don’t have all the answers. That’s why we ask lots of questions. We think everyone should ask lots of questions. Especially about where the products they’re buying come from, and what they’re made with.

We believe businesses shouldn’t shy away from these questions. Even if it gets messy, they should know the impact of their products, and they should be proud to share how they’re made.

Once they know their impact, they should work hard to reduce it. And in the meantime, they should pay for their pollution, through things like carbon offsets.

Since we started Allbirds back in 2016, we’ve felt pretty strongly that plastic from petroleum is stupid. It warms the planet, creates microplastics, and pollutes the earth.

At this point, businesses know better. Now, they need to do better.

But what does better look like? Well, minimizing waste or making products out of trash is admirable, but it’s not enough. Trading petroleum and other synthetic materials for natural ones is making solid progress, but still leaves something to be desired. Delightful, clean products that are renewable once they’ve had their day in the sun — that should be the goal of every company.

We’ve come to discover that there’s an opinion in the world of business that profit and purpose can’t live in harmony. We don’t buy it. And selling stuff isn’t inherently evil, so long as the person doing the selling does so responsibly and minimizes their impact on the planet.

We know that people buy great products, not sustainable ones — but we also know that truly great products are sustainable. And creating truly sustainable products is hard. Really hard. But our mums always told us that just because something’s hard doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.

And so we’re doing it. And we’re learning that creating sustainably is about more than just measuring your carbon footprint. But right now, that’s the best scorecard we’ve got, and we all need to be thinking in terms of it. On this journey, we shouldn’t confuse better with best. We know we have a long road ahead of us, and we need to talk about our mistakes just as often as our successes.

We feel lucky to have a platform to do just that — talk about successes, mistakes, and our future. And we know we have an immense responsibility to do the best we can to foster the good that lives inside all of us. We’re ready for it, and we hope you’ll join us here on Medium, where we’ll be sharing our thoughts, inspiration, and approach towards a better way of doing business.

Originally published at on March 3, 2020.