Today’s Solutions: May 28, 2023

As climate action from all layers of society becomes ever more important by the day, it has been encouraging to see an increasing number of leaders from different industries step up their efforts and do more to tackle this urgent global challenge. One of the latest companies to set an ambitious sustainability target is footwear manufacturer Timberland.

The brand’s most recent actions to fight climate change go beyond the usual corporate commitments to reduce environmental harm – by 2030, the company aims to have a net positive impact on nature.

To achieve this ambitious goal, the brand plans to design all of its products for circularity – meaning that materials for one product are reused in a closed-loop to make other products – and to source all of its natural materials from farmers practicing regenerative agriculture.

While the brand was already an early adopter of fabrics made from recycled plastic, this fall it will launch new boots made from recycled leather, an industry first. “We really want to push the industry to think beyond plastics,” says Colleen Vien, the company’s sustainability director.

Timberland’s boots, jackets, and all of its other products will also be designed to be easily taken apart at the end-of-life stage so the materials can be recycled. To do this it will also try to ensure that all products are returned back to them once they reach the end of their life.

All of this can help reduce the company’s environmental impact, but it plans to take its sustainability efforts even further by shifting to regenerative agriculture at the end of its supply chains. This, for example, would entail sourcing its leather from farms whose ranches have a positive impact on the environment, such as capturing more carbon in the soil.

Overall, the team is hoping to inspire its suppliers, as well as the rest of the apparel industry, to change their current practices so that they benefit both people and the planet.

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