Tim Brown's sockless woollen running shoe idea is one step closer to being a commercial reality after the start-up's wildly successful crowdfunding campaign. It took just over 24 hours for Brown's fledgling company Three Over Seven to reach its $30,000 target on crowd funding site Kickstarter.
So far, more than 290 people from around the world have backed the Wool Runners idea - and that figure could grow much higher by the end of the month-long funding push.
The former All Whites and Phoenix soccer player said the goal of hitting $30,000 from the Kickstarter campaign was the breakeven point to get the shoes into production.
"It has required an investment of well into the six figures to get to this point with our fabric production and the legal costs of patent filing," Brown said.
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The shoes are made from mid-micron New Zealand sheep wool, using a patent pending process comprising knitting together wool fibres, melt-bond fibres, and multifilament yarn to form a unique knitted fabric. "None of those early stages would have been possible without our funding partners at Wool Industry Research Limited and Grow Wellington," he said.
Last month, Three Over Seven's woollen sports shoe concept was awarded a place in a British Government-backed business accelerator programme in the UK. Running enthusiasts keen to try out the lightweight shoe can now pre-order a pair by pledging their financial support on the Three Over Seven's Kickstarter page - currently the only way to purchase the Wool Runners.
A Portuguese factory is scheduled to start production of the shoes in April with delivery set for June.