Allbirds to Start Selling Socks; Heycar Launches in UK

Allbirds to start selling socks

DTC’s Daily Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer brands. In today’s edition: Allbirds to start selling socks; Heycar launches in UK; and Radnor Hills goes B2C with e-commerce store. 

Allbirds to start selling socks

Sustainable footwear sensation Allbirds is now selling socks. The new products fit the eco-warrior mould of Allbirds too, with the business using a “brand new material” called Trino, that uses a yarn which includes Allbirds’ tree and wool blend. 

The company is claiming that its new socks are made with natural ingredients and a combination of recycled plastic bottles and plant fibers and are 100% carbon neutral. The socks are priced at USD$16 for tube socks, USD$12 for “no-show’ socks and USD$14 for quarter-length socks.

Allbirds isn’t the only company to sell sustainable socks. Osom makes its socks from up-cycled clothing materials and sells at a similar price point. Repreve, Zkano and Thought are also brands that use recycled materials to make their socks. Though there’s competition in the market, Allbirds’ brand equity will help this product thrive, and with the new material now up and running, they will find it easier to expand into other apparel categories, such as sweatpants and pyjamas. 

The shoe company has raised USD$77m (£64m) to date and is backed by investors including Lerer Hippeau, Tiger Global Management, Fidelity Management and T. Rowe Price.

Heycar launches in UK

Heycar, an online marketplace for used cars, launches in the UK today, with the mission of bringing greater trust and transparency to one of the UK economy’s largest retail sectors.

The brand will do this by creating a superior user experience for consumers and dealers, launching with an inventory of over 100,000 listed vehicles from nearly 50 brands across 1,400 dealerships. 

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) puts the value of the UK used car industry at £50bn. The UK used car finance point of sale market is valued at £17.6bn by the Finance and Leasing Association.

The UK used car industry has long suffered from strong consumer scepticism. Heycar aims to overcome this scepticism and make its mark on the sector through innovation and fresh thinking. heycar brings a simpler solution to the UK, allowing users to search for and find their used car, complete with a finance quote, in a seamless online journey.

Shareholders include Volkswagen Financial Services and Daimler Mobility, and the UK will represent Heycar’s second market, after launching in Germany in 2017.

Radnor Hills goes B2C with e-commerce store

Award winning Welsh water and soft drinks manufacturer Radnor Hills has turned its hand to e-commerce with its first online shop

Radnor Hills was founded in Powys, mid Wales in 1990 and produces a million bottles of soft drinks every day. Today the business employs 170 people and is a £47m business. The move, which will allow customers to purchase products by the case, represents a first for the business, which has only previously sold to B2B customers. 

Radnor Hills have been gearing up for this launch for a while, and have recently launched a zero sugar range of energy drinks, as well as a 100% recyclable bottle for their Radnor Splash range. Both of these are aspects which will appeal to the B2C shopper, and while hopefully help kick-start Radnor Hill’s presence in the B2C marketplace. 

The business is aiming for £50m turnover by 2022, as it also looks to introduce cans and cut down on packaging (with 50% less packaging used than a decade ago). 

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