Timberland Increases Recycled Material Use

by | Apr 23, 2015

Timberland logoIn 2014, 79 percent of Timberland footwear incorporated renewable, organic or recycled (ROR) materials, up from 70 percent in 2013. The brand’s leading recycled material, found in over 14 million pairs, is recycled polyester (PET) found in plastic bottles. In 2014, over 1.25 million pounds of recycled PET was incorporated into Timberland footwear.

The footwear and apparel manufacturer documented its sustainability performance in its 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility report.

Timberland also continued to increase its use of recycled rubber in footwear. In 2014, the brand produced 6.9 million pairs of footwear made with outsoles containing up to 42 percent recycled rubber, bringing the total to 19.9 million pairs through 2014, compared to 13 million pairs through 2013.

Last November, Timberland launched Timberland Tires in partnership with tire manufacturer Omni United to create a more sustainable lifecycle for rubber. Timberland Tires are the first line of tires purposely created to be recycled into footwear outsoles at the end of their journey on the road.

ROR content in apparel took a hit in 2014. Timberland apparel incorporated 18.8 percent ROR content compared to 36.7 percent in 2013. A renewed strategy has been put in place to increase ROR use in apparel over the next five years. Timberland is exploring ways to collaborate with industry partners on initiatives to further the incorporation of more sustainable cotton into its products.

The company has made progress on having PVC-free products but is struggling to meet its goal of being 100 percent PVC-free. In 2014, 1.8 percent of total pairs of footwear shipped contained PVC, compared with 8.9 percent in 2013. The performance needs in the Timberland PRO line of industrial boots has made it challenging to meet the 100 percent goal. The company is seeking material substitutions in pursuit of this goal.

In 2013, Timberland produced 14,691 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, a 22 percent reduction compared to the 18,772 metric tons emitted in 2012. This decrease is largely attributed to increased use of renewable energy at its European headquarters and distribution centers.

Timberland will announce its 2020 sustainability targets this summer.


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