On the heels of Earth Day, Timberland announces important advancements in its regenerative agriculture efforts, working toward a vision for Timberland® products to have a net positive impact on Nature by 2030. Timberland continues to lead the industry in the regenerative space – expanding upon its growing Regenerative Leather footwear offerings for spring, and forging a partnership with Terra Genesis International (TGI) to build the world’s first regenerative rubber supply system for footwear, with plans to pilot a collection in 2023. The brand also has a progressive campaign underway, tapping experts and multidisciplinary social media platforms to create consumer awareness around regenerative agriculture in new and engaging ways.
Our planet has a problem – there is too much carbon in the air and not enough in the ground. Regenerative practices 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. As part of Timberland’s vision for a greener future, the brand has set a goal for 100% of its natural materials to be sourced from regenerative agriculture by 2030.
“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.”
Building the World’s First Regenerative Rubber Supply System for Footwear
Timberland, along with parent company VF Corporation and sister brands Vans and The North Face, is partnering with Terra Genesis International in Thailand to build the industry’s first regenerative rubber supply system.
Rubber is typically grown in a monoculture; it uses 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 Asia.
Based on local indigenous knowledge, regenerative rubber farming incorporates multiple tree species to mimic a natural forest ecosystem. This revitalizes biodiversity and enhances 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 to regenerative systems.
“We are grateful that, through our partnership with Timberland and VF Corporation, we can move this vital regenerative process forward,” said Luke Smith, CEO of TGI. “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 Thailand.”
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.
Expanded Regenerative Leather Footwear Offerings
The new Greenstride™ Solar Wave EK+ Collection joins several Timberland styles now featuring Regenerative Leather, and is packed with eco-conscious materials. In addition to Regenerative Leather in the uppers, GreenStride™ comfort soles are made of 75% renewable materials (a combination of sugar cane and natural rubber from trees). They are Earthkeepers® Edition styles, marked with an EK+ to reflect Timberland’s pinnacle eco-innovations.
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 agriculture across the world.
Inspiring The Next Generation
“As a consumer-led brand with a vision to build an equitable and green future, Timberland is perfectly placed to translate the concept and benefits of regenerative agriculture to the next generation,” says Drieke Leenknegt, global vice president of marketing for Timberland.
Tapping into experts and creators – including farmers, ranchers and soil advocates from the film Kiss The Ground – Timberland is launching a multidisciplinary campaign across an ecosystem of social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok and Clubhouse, to inspire and educate consumers about the power of regenerative agriculture to heal our planet.
“Transmedia storytelling allows us to translate the ins and outs of regenerative practices in unique and different ways,” says Leenknegt. “Through TikTok – the newest entertainment and education platform – we can partner with creators to bring the concept to life in a quick and approachable way. For our Clubhouse activation, we’re partnering with superhost Swan Sit to host a series of rooms to delve deeper into the topic. By educating the next generation, and raising awareness and excitement around the power of regeneration, we can continue, together, to move the world forward.”
For information about Timberland’s commitment to better product, stronger communities and a greener world, visit the brand’s responsibility site.