To help reduce its environmental footprint, in 2016 Timberland partnered with Thread, a Certified B Corporation that turns plastic bottles collected in Haiti into fabric.
The “bottle to boot” process begins in Haiti, where approximately 1,300 locals collect bottles that become Thread fabric, which Timberland uses to create products. Each yard is traced and tracked from bottle collection and fabric creation to the delivery of the fabric bolt to the manufacturer. The collection includes five styles of men’s footwear, two bags and one t-shirt, all made using Thread Ground to Good fabric.
In March 2017, Timberland introduced the Timberland X Thread collection. Timberland purchased 76,528 yards of Thread fabric, which, compared to products made with 100% conventional cotton, had the following impacts: 765,280 bottles recycled, 30,521,203 gallons of water saved, 15,305 pounds of pesticide saved, 77 income opportunities created in Haiti, $2,295 in revenue for bottle collectors and collection centers, and $14,540 in revenue for recyclers.
Timberland aims to reduce the environmental impact of Timberland products by 2020, with goals that include the use of more recycled, organic and renewable materials. The Timberland X Thread collection has transparency that will allow consumers to learn about the people, the stories, and impact metrics behind each boot, shoe or bag they purchase. The project has the potential to serve as a model for others looking to form strategic partnerships, especially between small, socially- focused organizations and large corporations.