BY farah khalfe 3 MINUTE READ

Outdoor apparel company, Timberland has become one of a growing number of corporations who are taking significant and measurable steps to address the environmental impact of the fashion industry. Timberland announced a goal for its products to have a net positive impact on nature by 2030 — giving back more than it takes. Given Timberland’s outdoor heritage and longstanding commitment to protect nature, the brand is turning to nature for inspiration, driving innovation through regenerative agriculture and circular design.

 In pursuit of its net positive vision, Timberland has set two specific, measurable goals to achieve by 2030:

  • 100% of products to be designed for circularity, and
  • 100% of natural materials to be sourced from regenerative agriculture

“The environment today is in a degraded state. As a fashion brand, we are part of the problem,” said Colleen Vien, director of sustainability for Timberland. “For decades Timberland has worked to minimise 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.”

Through circular product design, Timberland strives to achieve zero waste, working toward zero impact. By sourcing all its virgin natural materials through regenerative agriculture, the brand believes it can push past net zero and have a net positive impact on nature.

Product Circularity
In nature, everything has a use and a reuse — nothing goes to waste. It is a closed loop. By 2030, Timberland’s goal is for all its products — across footwear, apparel, and accessories — to be designed for circularity. On the front end, products will be made using materials that would have otherwise gone to waste (e.g., plastic bottles, scrap leather, scrap wool). Products will also be designed to be recyclable at “end of life,” so they can be disassembled and made into something new.

Regenerative Agriculture
Timberland has set a goal for all-natural materials used in its products to be sourced through regenerative agriculture by 2030.  Regenerative practices mimic nature. They allow animals to roam and graze in their natural patterns, giving the land a chance to rest and heal.  And they ensure a variety of crops, replicating the diversity found in nature. These practices enable the land to pull carbon out of the atmosphere and efficiently store it in the ground, rebuilding the structure of the soil and leading to healthy, hydrated, fertile ground – and ultimately, net positive impacts for the land and the farmers.

“In and of itself, nature is balanced.  Ecosystems work together in perfect harmony,” said Vien.  “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.”

“We recognize the power of tress to improve the quality of our planet as well as individual well-being. They feed, shelter, and sustain us, so we must stand for them. That’s why we have made a bold commitment to continue pursuing a greener future,” says Moosa Mayet, General Manager at Timberland South Africa.

“National Arbor Week coincides with Heritage Month in South Africa, and as such, we are all encouraged to plant trees as a practical and symbolic gesture of the sustainable environmental management of our beautiful land. It is evident that we are in a climate emergency and we must all act now,”  he adds.