Joey Zwillinger, co-chief executive of Allbirds, has further discussed the ongoing debate about Amazon’s tendency to copy its popular products, according tomedia reports. In the article, he attacked Amazon’s parody and suggested ways to help the e-commerce giant make its imitations more environmentally friendly.
Earlier this year, Amazon’s own brand, 206 Collective, made headlines when it began selling a shoe that mimicked the most distinctive features of allbirds running shoes. Amazon has adopted a similar strategy in many industries, launching cheap versions of products that mimic other merchants in dozens of private labels that don’t use Amazon’s name.
Zwillinger points out that Amazon not only has plagiarism but that the cost of investing is very low, which is inconsistent with Allbirds’ approach to sustainability. “We are flattered by the similarity of your private brand shoes to us, but we hope that what they have in common includes the use of environmentally friendly materials,” he wrote. Zwillinger then quickly switched topics and began talking about his company’s treatment of ethylene-acetate copolymer (EVA). Ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer is a chemically produced foam used at the bottom of Allbirds and other shoe brand products. Allbirds calls it SweetFoam.
Zwillinger says they created the world’s first green EVA — a sustainable foam for the bottom of sneakers — and one of the most commonly used materials in the industry, in partnership with the petrochemical company Braskem. He also explained that they use sugar cane waste instead of oil, and are also removing carbon from the atmosphere and locking it in one of the most photosynthesis-efficient crops to combat climate change.
Zwillinger also said Amazon can borrow its SweetFoam recipe for free.