Introducing Allbirds’ latest innovation: Tees made out of crab shells

Today Allbirds launched into apparel, premiering the TrinoXO™ tee made out of their signature Trino yarn spun with chitosan (pronounced “kite-oh-san”), a naturally occurring fibre derived from crab shells.

Sourced from snow crabs caught in the Labrador Sea off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, these shells would otherwise be discarded to waste.

Chitosan keeps you fresher for longer, so it requires fewer washes without the use of extractive metals like silver or zinc, meaning the new tees have less of an impact on the environment. They’re also silky-soft to touch, featuring a relaxed boxy fit for the ultimate off-duty look.

The chitosan fibre was a challenge and Jad Finck, VP of Innovation & Sustainability at Allbirds, explains that the two-year project to design the apparel was a “different journey for the innovation and design team and has required a totally different approach”.

As well as being difficult to produce, the fibre was also expensive. Allbirds have again proven their commitment to persevering with sustainability, and the tees have a 20% lower carbon footprint than a standard polyester tee shirt. They’re Oeko-Tex 100 certified and are on track to be the first ever MSC-certified piece of apparel, a certification for Sustainable Fisheries.

“We’ve always felt that the key to successful sustainable innovation is to unlock the no-compromise combination where the material is not only natural and renewable, but also makes the consumer experience even better”, Fink says.

The tees are available online and in-store now in a variety of tones, and for Winter 2021, New Zealanders can get excited about the Allbirds puffers and knitwear that have already dropped in the Northern hemisphere.

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