Allbirds: Tim Brown & Joey Zwillinger Growing up, Tim Brown discovered he was very good at two things: design and soccer. While playing professional soccer in New Zealand, he was turned off by the flashy logos on most athletic gear. He started making simple canvas shoes for his teammates, but soon discovered a better material: soft merino wool from his country's plentiful sheep. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, his future business partner Joey Zwillinger was frustrated that most companies lacked a genuine commitment to sustainability. In 2015, Tim and Joey teamed up to create Allbirds, a company with two ambitious goals: create the world's most comfortable shoes, and do it in a way that was completely carbon-neutral. Today, just three years after launch, Allbirds is worth $1.4 billion. PLUS, for our postscript "How You Built That," how Kirby Erdely saw a problem with flying beach umbrellas and developed a new kind of tent stake—with a twist.
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Allbirds: Tim Brown & Joey Zwillinger

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Allbirds: Tim Brown & Joey Zwillinger

Allbirds: Tim Brown & Joey Zwillinger

Allbirds: Tim Brown & Joey Zwillinger

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Tim Brown and Joey Zwillinger are the co-founders of Allbirds.
Chris Kindred for NPR

Growing up, Tim Brown discovered he was very good at two things: design and soccer.

While playing professional soccer in New Zealand, he was turned off by the flashy logos on most athletic gear.

He started making simple canvas shoes for his teammates, but soon discovered a better material: soft merino wool from his country's plentiful sheep.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, his future business partner Joey Zwillinger was frustrated that most companies lacked a genuine commitment to sustainability.

In 2015, Tim and Joey teamed up to create Allbirds, a company with two ambitious goals: create the world's most comfortable shoes, and do it in a way that was completely carbon-neutral.

Today, just three years after launch, Allbirds is worth $1.4 billion.

How You Built That

How Kirby Erdely saw a problem with flying beach umbrellas and developed a new kind of tent stake—with a twist.

How You Built That: Orange Screw

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