Timberland announced a goal for its products to have a net positive impact on nature by 2030. The goal includes having all products designed for circularity and made from natural materials sourced from regenerative agriculture.
“The environment today is in a degraded state. As a footwear and apparel brand, we are part of the problem,” said Colleen Vien, director of sustainability for Timberland. “For decades Timberland has worked to minimize our impact, but it’s time to do better than that. Imagine a boot that puts more carbon back into the land than was emitted during production. By following nature’s lead, and focusing on circular design and regenerative agriculture, we aim to tip the scales to have a net positive impact – to go beyond sustainability and help nature thrive. We are incredibly excited about this journey, and hope to inspire the industry as a whole to work together and change the trajectory of our collective future.”
To reach product circularity, products will be made using materials that would have otherwise gone to waste (e.g., plastic bottles, scrap leather, scrap wool). Products will also be designed to be recyclable at “end of life,” so they can be disassembled and made into something new, said the brand.
Timberland is also working to build a regenerative leather supply chain in the U.S., Australia and Brazil. It recently announced a partnership with the Savory Institute to fund research into the tangible benefits of regenerative agricultural practices. This fall Timberland launches its first collection of boots made using Regenerative Leather with plans to scale significantly in the coming seasons. The leather is sourced from Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed regenerative ranches in the U.S. through sourcing partner Other Half Processing.
Timberland is also working with regenerative farmers to pilot regenerative rubber, cotton, wool, and sugarcane supply chains in pursuit of its 2030 goals.
“In and of itself, nature is balanced. Ecosystems work together in perfect harmony,” said Vien. “Modern civilization challenges this state, but as we’ve seen time and again, nature has the innate power to restore and regenerate itself when given the chance. And we as humans can act as stewards. That’s our vision for 2030 – to get carbon back in the soil where it belongs, and ultimately give back more than we take.”
Today, Timberland sources almost exclusively from tanneries that achieve a gold or silver rating from the LWG. Timberland also raised the bar for responsible design when the brand introduced its Earthkeepers boot in 2007 manufactured with recycled PET linings and recycled rubber soles. In 2010, the brand followed up with its first circular design with the Earthkeepers 2.0 boot – designed to be fully disassembled for recycling at the end of its life. This fall, Timberland will reintroduce the Earthkeepers platform.
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