Footwear with history: Timberland partners with Thread
New collection of Timberland footwear and bags to feature Thread fabric, made from plastic bottles collected in developing countries
Global outdoor lifestyle brand Timberland today announced a partnership with responsible fabric manufacturer Thread, furthering both brands' longstanding commitment to environmental and social responsibility. Crafted from plastic bottles collected in Haiti and Honduras, Thread Ground to Good fabric challenges how the world thinks about recycled PET. Going beyond environmental sustainability, Thread also creates social value in the form of cleaner neighborhoods and job creation for thousands of people. The partnership – the largest to date for Thread – will bear its first fruit in spring 2017, with a collection of Timberland footwear and bags made from Thread fabric.
"We are beyond excited about partnering with Thread," said Colleen Vien, director of sustainability for Timberland. "From the moment we met them, we knew this had the potential to be far more than a supplier relationship. Building community has always been at the heart of Timberland, and we were also inspired by the Haiti connection, given our work there over the past five years. Any time we find an opportunity to create both environmental and social value, that's a big win. And Thread does just that."
Made in the U.S. with up to 50-percent recycled PET from plastic bottles collected from the streets, canals and neighborhoods ofHaiti and Honduras, each yard of Thread fabric is traced and tracked at every step of its journey, from bottle collection to fabric creation to the delivery of the fabric bolt to the manufacturer. This unprecedented transparency will allow Timberland consumers to learn about the people, the vibrant stories and the impact metrics behind each boot, shoe or bag they purchase, so they can know they are making a difference while also receiving the premium quality they expect from Timberland.
"This partnership is truly special. We're proud to work with a brand with such a longstanding commitment to the environment and social responsibility," said Ian Rosenberger, CEO of Thread. "Working together transparently, we're able to look beyond recycled materials toward the rich social impact consumers care about and the stories that bring beautiful products to life."
The Thread network provides jobs and income opportunities for nearly 3,600 people in the developing world, including roughly 1,800 bottle collectors, entrepreneurs and manufacturing employees in Haiti where the supply chain is based, and another 1,800 in Honduras. Beyond income, employees benefit from valuable services such as job training, process improvements and micro-loan programs.
Timberland also has strong connections to Haiti, making the partnership with Thread a natural fit. The brand recently culminated a five year commitment to plant five million trees in Haiti, which resulted in the creation of a self-sustaining agroforestry cooperative helping 3,200 smallholder farmers increase productivity on their farmlands, increase their incomes and create new opportunities for the future. To learn more about Timberland's work in Haiti, visit kombitfilm.com.
Timberland and Thread will discuss their partnership, including the opportunities it presents to transform the way consumers and brands think about sustainability, at the Sustainable Brands conference in San Diego next week.