Apparel firm plans to curb its impact on soil degradation and reduce its waste through fresh commitments to rely on circular product design and regenerative agriculture sourcing by 2030
Timberland has become the latest outdoor gear brand to boost its green credentials, unveiling plans to overhaul the way it sources and designs its boots and other products over the coming decade in order to reduce its reliance on virgin materials and extractive farming practices.
The brand has today committed to sourcing all the leather, cotton, rubber, wool, and sugar cane it uses from regenerative farms and ensuring that all its products are "designed for circularity" by 2030.
Timberland said the twin pledges would allow the company to have a 'net positive impact' on the environment and ensure that the soil it relies on for its source materials can fulfil its critical role of sequestering carbon from the atmostphere.
"For decades Timberland has worked to minimise our impact, but it's time to do better than that," said Colleen Vien, director of sustainability for Timberland. "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."
Timberland's new push for circular design will see it reuse materials otherwise destined for landfill - such as plastic bottles, scrap leather, and wool - in it products, while at the same time ensuring all its products are recyclable.
It will complement these efforts with plans to build a "regenerative leather supply chain" in the US, Australia, and Brazil, which will enable the launch of its first collection of boots made from leather sourced from regenerative ranches this autumn.
The brand is currently working with the sustainable farming NGO the Savory Institute on research that outlines the benefits of regenerative agriculture practices, which allow animals to graze and roam in natural patterns, giving soil a chance to heal and capture carbon.
To meet its 2030 goal, the firm must also source all its rubber, cotton, wool, and sugarcane from farmers relying on regenerative practices.
"In and of itself, nature is balanced," Vien said. "Ecosystems work together in perfect harmony. 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."
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