The brand is aiming to design 100% of its products for circularity, and source 100% of materials from regenerative agriculture.
In order to continue to address the environmental impact of its operations and of the fashion industry at large, Timberland today announced a goal for its products to have a net positive impact on nature — giving back more than they take — by 2030.
In pursuit of its net-positive vision, Timberland has set two specific, measurable goals to achieve by 2030:
100 percent of products to be designed for circularity, to achieve zero waste; and
100 percent of natural materials to be sourced from regenerative agriculture, to push past net zero and have a net positive impact on nature.
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“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 emulate nature’s closed-loop, zero-waste processes, Timberland’s goal is for all of its products — across footwear, apparel and accessories — to be designed for circularity. The company's original Earthkeepers® boot, launched in 2007, were made with recycled PET linings and recycled rubber soles. In 2010, the brand followed up with its first foray into circular design with the Earthkeepers 2.0 boot — designed to be fully disassembled for recycling at the end of its life.
Now, the brand promises to expand on that — with products to be made using materials that would have otherwise gone to waste (e.g., plastic bottles, scrap leather, scrap wool); and designed to be recyclable at end of life, for easy disassembly and reuse of materials.
Timberland's forthcoming Regenerative Leather boots | Image credit: Timberland
More and more CPG brands are committing to having their ingredients and materials produced through regenerative practices, to ensure restoration of soil health and maximize its ability to sequester carbon. Timberland’s new goal is for all of the organic materials used in its products to be sourced through regenerative agriculture by 2030.
As a founding member of the Leather Working Group in 2005, Timberland led the charge around improving production and sourcing practices around leather in the fashion industry — helping to drive the adoption of industry-wide environmental best practices at tanneries around the world.
In 2019, Timberland was among brands that funded comprehensive research into the benefits of regenerative ranching practices. Since then, the brand has partnered with the Savory Institute, as well as producers such as Other Half Processing — which partners with farmers, tribes, and ranchers such as Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed to source hides and other high-quality leather byproducts from regenerative, organic and more sustainably raised animals — as part of a long-term effort to build a network of early-adopter regenerative ranches with its large-scale tannery partners to help build a regenerative supply chain in the US, Australia and Brazil for footwear and apparel.
This fall, Timberland will reintroduce its Earthkeepers platform as evidence of its continued commitment to innovating around product sustainability; and launch its first collection of Regenerative Leather boots — made from leather sourced from Thousand Hills, via sourcing partner Other Half Processing — with plans to scale significantly in the coming seasons.
The company is also working to cultivate regenerative supply chains for rubber, cotton, wool and sugarcane.