Timberland Turns to Recycled Plastic Bottles for Spring ’17

Thread International

Outdoor lifestyle brand Timberland and responsible fabric manufacturer Thread International have a new collaboration in the works.

Timberland announced Thursday that it will partner with Thread to further both brands’ environmental compliance and social responsibility efforts. With this partnership, a new collection of Timberland footwear and bags, set to launch in Spring 2017, will feature Thread’s fabric, which is made from plastic bottles collected in developing nations.

“From the moment we met them, we knew this had the potential to be far more than a supplier relationship,” Timberland’s sustainability director, Colleen Vien, said. “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.”

Thread’s Ground to Good fabric changes up perspectives about recycled PET. Plastic bottles collected from the canals, neighborhoods and streets of Haiti and Honduras contribute to the 50 percent of recycled PET found in Thread’s fabric. Throughout the supply chain process, every yard of Thread fabric is tracked from bottle collection to fabric creation to fabric bolt delivery. Thread’s transparency will provide Timberland customers the opportunity to learn about the stories and metrics of each shoe or bag purchase. In the process, Timberland customers know that their purchases impact people positively on a day-to-day basis.

Timberland and Thread both contribute greatly to social efforts in developing nations: Thread provides about 1,800 jobs for bottle collectors, entrepreneurs and manufacturing employees in Haiti; Timberland has provided careers there as well, with a plan to cultivate five million trees, which will help 3,200 local farmers improve their incomes.

Both companies will discuss future opportunities at the Sustainable Brands conference in San Diego next week.

Thread CEO Ian Rosenberger explained that the company’s partnership with Timberland is a step towards greater sustainability and humanity impact: “This partnership is truly special. We’re proud to work with a brand with such a longstanding commitment to the environment and social responsibility. 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,” he said.


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