Published 2 years ago.
About a 10 minute read.
Three of VF Corporation’s top outdoor apparel brands have committed to bold
goals around circularity and scaling regenerative ag practices — including having all of their top materials be recycled, regenerative or renewable by 2025.
Image credit: Savory Institute
Today, Timberland announces
important advancements in its regenerative agriculture efforts, working toward a
vision for all of Timberland® products to have a net-positive impact on nature
There is too much carbon in the air and not enough in the ground — hence our
impending climate crisis. Regenerative agriculture
mimic nature, enabling the land to pull more carbon out of the atmosphere and
efficiently store it in the ground, where it can rebuild the structure of the
soil; leading to healthy, hydrated, fertile ground — and ultimately,
net-positive impacts for the land and the farmers.
“At Timberland, we strive for a greener and more equitable future, and investing
in regenerative agriculture is one of the most powerful levers we have to
achieve this vision,” said Zack Angelini, senior manager of environmental
stewardship for Timberland. “We are excited about the progress we’re making to
source our top volume materials in a way that supports the farmers and ranchers
working to reverse environmental degradation and create a world that is more
abundant, more resilient and even more beautiful than it is today.”
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In 2020, Timberland embarked on a partnership with the Savory Institute to help cultivate and scale a regenerative supply chain for leather; the new Greenstride™ Solar Wave EK+
several Timberland styles now featuring Regenerative Leather. In addition to
Regenerative Leather in the uppers, GreenStride™ comfort soles are made of 75
percent renewable materials (a combination of sugar cane and natural rubber from
trees). EK+ signifies its inclusion in Timberland’s industry-leading
of sustainable footwear.
Later this summer, the Timberland PRO® line for the skilled trades will
introduce its first Regenerative Leather boot, the Gridworks EK+.
As Timberland rapidly expands its Regenerative Leather supply chain, the brand
hopes to use its global scale and powerful sourcing arm to incentivize the
transition of more farmers to regenerative ag practices across the world.
In addition to expanding upon its growing Regenerative Leather footwear
offerings, Timberland has forged a partnership with Terra Genesis
International (TGI) in to build the world’s first regenerative rubber supply
system for footwear, with plans to pilot a collection in 2023.
Along with parent company VF Corporation and sister
brands Vans and The North Face, Timberland will work with TGI in Thailand to build the
industry’s first regenerative rubber supply system.
Rubber is typically grown in a monoculture; which cultivates a single type of
tree, degrades biodiversity and often uses chemicals or may involve exploitative
labor practices. Monoculture rubber plantations are also a significant
contributor to rainforest deforestation across Southeast
Regenerative rubber farming incorporates multiple tree species to mimic a
natural forest ecosystem — revitalizing biodiversity and enhancing ecosystem
services such as soil health, water cycling, carbon sequestration and the
creation of favorable microclimates. This approach also provides a diversity of
yields that farmers can rely on for multiple streams of income, leading to
increased resiliency and long-lasting positive impacts for the community. By
supporting “train the trainer” programs, Timberland and VF will help to scale
local indigenous knowledge and transition more plantations in the region to
“We are grateful that, through our partnership with Timberland and VF
Corporation, we can move this vital regenerative process forward,” said TGI CEO
Luke Smith. “While the transformation from rubber monocultures to
regenerative farming on one farm is impressive; as the shift spreads wider, it
is likely to have significant social, ecological and economic impacts in
Timberland plans to pilot its first Regenerative Rubber footwear in 2023. This
supply system will eventually be open to brands across and outside the industry,
aiming to significantly scale regenerative sourcing of rubber.
Learn more about Timberland’s efforts to scale regenerative ag supply chains,
as well its social media campaign aimed at engaging consumers on the benefits of
Image credit: Vans/Facebook
For its part, action sports brand Vans has also announced bold global
environmental sustainability and responsibility that will be achieved by 2030.
Vans’ goal is to move towards circular products and systems that use
regenerative and recycled materials, designed to reduce waste and keep products
in use and out of landfills.
Vans' purpose is to enable creative expression by encouraging the "Off the Wall"
spirit that comes from expressing one's true self. As part of its commitment to
inspire youth culture, Vans recognizes the urgency to move towards circular
products and will deploy systems that design out waste — aimed at helping to
achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 12 to ensure responsible
consumption and production patterns.
"Enabling creative expression is central to Vans. As a purpose-driven company
that is engrained in youth culture, we are leveraging our commitment to
creativity to seek new solutions that reimagine the lifecycle of our products
and protect the environment for future generations," said Kim Matsoukas,
senior manager of Sustainability at Vans. "While there's more work for us to do
— through our Vans family, partnerships with **PUR
Genesis, and other leading environmental organizations — we're proud to
accomplish these goals by 2030."
To achieve its sustainability vision by 2030, Vans' commitments include:
By 2030, 100 percent of Vans' top materials — including rubber, cotton, leather
and polyester — will be regenerative, responsibly sourced, renewable or
recycled. Additionally, the company has committed to a 43 percent carbon
Reducing the average impact of top materials by 35 percent by 2025
Utilizing 50 percent recycled polyester by 2025
Sourcing 100 percent sustainably grown cotton by 2025
When combined with other programs like working with suppliers to implement
renewable energy in our supply chain, the move to regenerative, recycled and
responsibly sourced renewable materials will help Vans achieve its goal of a 30
percent absolute reduction of scope 3 carbon emissions from a 2017 baseline.
Piloting and scaling regenerative agriculture practices on farms and ranches
that produce rubber, cotton, and leather for use in Vans products
Exploring bio-based alternatives with lower carbon footprints than
traditional, petroleum-based synthetic materials
Converting virgin polyester used in its footwear, apparel and accessories to
By 2025, Vans is committed to eliminating all single-use plastic packaging and
reducing waste at every point of its business model. This includes:
No plastic shopping bags in its retail spaces by the end of 2021
Remaining packaging will be minimized, originated from sustainable sources
and designed for recyclability
Vans is working toward converting all owned and operated facilities to 100
percent renewable energy by 2025.
Vans recognizes a collective effort and cross-collaboration across the entire
Vans Family — from employees and partners, to athletes, ambassadors and
consumers —when it comes to creating circularity. Vans looks forward to working
with partners — including Terra Genesis, which will generate regenerative
rubber; and Indigo
which supplies cotton — to achieve their collective sustainability goals.
Image credit: The North Face
Meanwhile, fellow VF brand The North Face has announced “Exploration without
Compromise” — a new framework for its commitment to creating the best-performing
products for exploration; leading with recycled, renewable and regenerative
materials that leave an ever-smaller footprint on the planet.
To make this vision a reality, 100 percent of the top materials used for The North Face apparel will be recycled, regenerative or renewable by 2025. The company says focusing on how its products are made is an opportunity to create the largest environmental reduction for the brand — as more than half of its carbon footprint is generated from product creation.
The company’s product sustainability efforts fall into three areas:
The North Face is actively transitioning all of its top synthetic apparel
fabrics (polyester and nylon) to being 100 percent recycled, and it has
already made great strides – by 2023, 100 percent of its polyester and 80
percent of its nylon fabrics will be made with recycled content. Reining in
sourcing of these synthetic materials is important because material-related
emissions for polyester represent 53 percent of TNF’s total material-related
emissions, and material-related emissions for nylon represent 29 percent.
The company says it will also offer products made of recycled cotton,
including scraps that might have gone to waste previously.
The company recently introduced additional 100 percent recycled gear
options, such as Base Camp
TNF's first foray into regenerative fashion came started in 2017 with its
Climate Beneficial™ line, the Cali
These wool products were produced in partnership with one of the few US
sheep ranchers that practices carbon farming - regenerative agriculture techniques that draw down
carbon dioxide and enrich the soil. Despite being a small, pilot program – the
Cali Wool Collection was extremely successful and was a finalist for a World
Changing Idea award two years in a row by Fast Company.
Now, TNF is scaling its regenerative efforts through our recently announced
regenerative cotton partnership with Indigo Ag. The Indigo Ag and The North
Face partnership is designed to help reward and drive the transition to
farming practices that draw down carbon from the atmosphere and restore soil
health. By rewarding growers implementing regenerative practices - through a
premium on the sale of cotton and 3rd party verified agricultural carbon
credits generated from additional practices adopted - the sourcing and
payment for carbon sequestration and reduction results helps establish an
incentive-based financing mechanism to spur the adoption of beneficial
This partnership with Indigo Ag allows The North Face to support US
farmers in their efforts to implement beneficial farming practices, as well
as send a demand signal to other growers that regenerative land management
is critical to restoring the health of our soils.
The launch of regenerative products moves us beyond “doing less harm” to
actually using raw materials that have a positive impact on nature and
resources. This “nature-positive” model is the way of the future along with
Keeping product out of landfills and in the hands of our customers has been
part of The North Face DNA since its founding — in 1971, it became one of
the first apparel companies to introduce a lifetime warranty program.
In 2018, the company introduced
— its recommerce platform that repairs, refurbishes and cleans used or
damaged garments so they are like new and available for resale. Previously,
consumers were unable to send product to our Renewed partner, The Renewal
Workshop, directly. This gives our community an opportunity to more directly
engage in our circularity process.
In Fall 2022, The North Face will launch its own, fully circular apparel for
the first time. Many brands have launched single collections, but TNF says
it aims to scale circularity by converting franchise styles. Stay tuned for
To make it easier than ever for shoppers looking to easily identify its
responsibly made products, The North Face has added the “Exploration Without
Compromise” seal to its most sustainable products on thenorthface.com and in
Published Apr 27, 2021 2pm EDT / 11am PDT / 7pm BST / 8pm CEST