From vegan-chic to vegan-crac: the market does not fund the rumours

From vegan-chic to vegan-crac: the market does not fund the rumours

It reached the peak of its parabola in 2021. When Allbirds, the brand of comfortable, modest footwear, went public on the New York Stock Exchange with a valuation of over USD 4 billion. At the time, Allbirds presented itself as a sustainability-conscious brand, and looked to the markets for the resources to grow in line with its idea of sustainability. It is a pity that, when confronted with the market, the transition from vegan-chic to vegan-crac was sudden, or almost so. It is news these days, writes BoF, that Nasdaq has submitted the eviction letter: if Allbirds’ share performance does not improve, delisting will take place ex officio.

From vegan-chic to vegan-crac

Allbirds, a choice we have already reprimanded, has excluded leather from its collections: it does not consider it appropriate to its green mission. The markets, however, also do not consider the brand adequate to compete at certain levels of the business. The bubble of comfortable and modest shoes, we said, has deflated. Revenues in 2022 had already normalised to +7% year-on-year (USD 297.8 million), only to fall in the 2023 financial report to USD 254 million (-15%). What is even more serious (for them) is that in the last financial report, net losses increased by 52% (USD 152 million). The stock market performance, where the share price (64 cents) is more than 90% lower than at the IPO, is a reflection of poor results. If within a year the stock does not return above one dollar for at least ten consecutive days, Nasdaq will end Allbirds’ adventure on Wall Street.

The market does not finance rumours

It may be that the economy, between wars and threats of further wars, is savage. It may be that with inflation money is worth more. But a certain naive idea of a green or vegan industry is suffering severe blows, in food as in fashion. Mylo has gone bankrupt, Stella McCartney LTD remains a loss-making popular brand, investments in next-gen materials are slowing down. When the going gets tough, investors don’t put money into slogans.

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