Timberland, fall 2020, regenerative, leather, sustainability

Timberland, the footwear and apparel brand owned by VF Corp., is setting an ambitious goal to offset its carbon footprint by 2030 by establishing a supply chain with a “net positive impact” on the planet.

The two-pronged approach will affect both ends of the pipeline. Timberland plans to progressively source all its natural fabrics and materials from suppliers whose business is based on regenerative agriculture, while also forging ahead with a circular design approach.

“We’ve always believed that a greener future is a better future. At the same time we are extremely aware of the environmental impact of the fashion industry,” noted Colleen Vien, Timberland’s director of sustainability. “For decades Timberland has worked to minimize our impact, but it’s time to do better than that.”

Following last year’s pilot partnership with Other Half Processing to build out a responsible leather supply chain, Timberland is now pledging to turn regenerative agriculture into the new normal by 2030 by extending the practice to the sourcing of other materials, including rubber, cotton, wool and sugar cane.

Regeneratively grazed cattle and regenerative crops allow for rest and regrowth of grasses, leading to better food for livestock and healthier and more fertile soil that in turn reduces carbon emissions.

Announcing the pilot project on leather sourcing last October, Timberland had said it expects to source 30 percent of its leather from regenerative sources by 2025.

On the circular design front, Timberland will improve the quota of recycled materials it uses, including PET bottles and pre-consumer wool or leather scraps. It will also approach design such that each apparel, footwear and accessory item is recyclable, avoiding products are destined to the landfill.

“Drawing inspiration from nature and focusing on circular design and regenerative agriculture, we are committed to raise the bar in order to produce a ‘net positive’ impact to promote sustainability and the safeguard of the environment,” said Vien.

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