Timberland has not only announced that it wants to plant 50 million trees around the world over the next 5 years, but also to create a net positive impact on the environment by 2030. The latter, most ambitious goal includes that the VF Corp.-owned brand wants all of its products designed for circularity and made from natural materials sourced from regenerative agriculture.
“The environment today is in a degraded state,” Colleen Vien, director of sustainability for Timberland, said in a statement. “As a footwear and apparel brand, we are part of the problem. 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.”
To reach product circularity, products will be made using materials that would have otherwise gone to waste. Products will also be designed to be recyclable at their “end of life,” so they can be disassembled and made into something new. By working with pioneering regenerative farmers, Timberland is also hoping to pilot new regenerative cotton, rubber, wool and sugarcane supply chains. The brand is also working to build a regenerative leather supply chain in Australia, Brazil and the USA.
Back in 2005, Timberland was a founding member of the Leather Working Group (LWG). Since then, the brand sources almost exclusively from tanneries that achieve an LWG gold or silver rating since. 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 introduced its first circular design with the Earthkeepers 2.0 boot that was designed to be fully disassembled for recycling at the end of its life. This autumn and after being among brands that funded comprehensive research into the benefits of regenerative ranching practices in 2019, Timberland will reintroduce the Earthkeepers and launch its first collection of regenerative leather boots. The company is also working to cultivate regenerative supply chains for rubber, cotton, wool and sugarcane.
While the resource-related benefits of Timberland’s new commitments are clear, the firm is also hoping that they will drive positive social change in supply chains and contribute to efforts to stop climate change.