Timberland, along with its parent company VF Corp. and its sister brands Vans and The North Face, is partnering with Terra Genesis International in Thailand to build what they claim will be the footwear industry’s first regenerative rubber supply system.
Timberland plans to pilot its first regenerative rubber footwear in 2023. The supply system will eventually be open to other brands across and outside the industry, “aiming to significantly scale regenerative sourcing of rubber,” it said.
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, Timberland explained. The approach 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, the brand added.
The brand has also expanded its offering of footwear using regenerative leather to include the Greenstride Solar Wave EK+ collection. In addition to regenerative leather in the uppers, Greenstride comfort soles are made of 75 percent renewable materials deriving from a combination of sugar cane and natural rubber from trees.
Later this summer, the Timberland PRO line will introduce its first regenerative leather boot, the Gridworks EK+.
With the expansion of its regenerative leather supply chain, the brand hopes to incentivize the transition of more farmers to regenerative agriculture. Timberland has set a goal for 100 percent of its natural materials to be sourced from regenerative agriculture by 2030.