Archive for June, 2010

Preserving Past and Future

Last month, 25 Earthkeepers from Timberland spent the day preserving landscape and history at the Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord, MA.

The park pays tribute to the opening battle of the American Revolution, and park grounds are preserved in 18th century tradition.  Some of the park’s fields are still actively farmed through the park’s leasing program, but many areas have become overgrown with brush and invasive plants.  In support of the park’s efforts to restore much of its agrarian landscape and evoke colonial times, when most of the land was used for grazing livestock, Timberland volunteers installed fencing and built an animal shelter for cattle and pigs – favorite “attractions” for park visitors.

Our thanks to the folks at the Minute Man Historical Park for their efforts to preserving events from the past, and land for the future.  To learn more about the park, please visit their website.

Best Green Bag

Last night I had the honor of attending the 4th annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards event and presenting the award for Best Green Handbag on Timberland’s behalf:

Best Green Handbag award winner Andrew Krumholz with Timberland’s Jackie LaLime

It was amazing to represent Timberland in the fashion arena, and to be in the same room with fashion greats like Carlos Falchi, Tim Gunn and Deborah Lloyd…what a trip!  The event was perfectly aligned with Timberland values, celebrating entrepreneurship, innovative design … and most of all, green design.

I chose Andrew Krumholz’s winning bag based not only for its beautiful style and use of recycled materials, but because of the positive impact these bags make on the community in which they are made and on the women’s lives who make them.  (Escama Studio artists work in cooperatives outside of Brazil which allow them the opportunity to earn a living wage in a supportive environment.)

As a company that’s committed to reducing the environmental impact of our business and our products, we know first hand how difficult it can be to create eco-conscious products without sacrificing beautiful craftsmanship, and that’s why we have such appreciation for the efforts of designers like Andrew who are able to address the challenge of being stylish and being green successfully.

Andrew’s Best Green Handbag

Earthkeepers in the NYC area, I hope you’ll stop in to view the winning bag in person at our Soho store in the coming weeks… and be sure to look for this design and others on Timberland.com this fall.

I thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to have been part of such an inspiring event and represent our brand amidst so many other leading brands and designers.  I’m encouraged by the talent and creativity in the handbag industry and look forward to seeing more.

Jackie LaLime
Senior Director of Licensing & Accessories, Timberland

Corporate Responsibility by the Numbers

Timberland just announced its corporate social responsibility (CSR) results for the first quarter of 2010.  A couple of Earthkeeping highlights:

  • We achieved a 2.5% emissions reduction in Q1 2010 compared to performance in Q1 2009.  This reduction is due to energy efficiency improvements, like LED lighting retrofits in our stores and energy efficiency improvements at our headquarters.  Several of our stores in Europe are now purchasing renewable electricity, which also contributed to reduced energy demand.
  • We continue to see improvement in our Green Index® scores — meaning that the environmental impact of our products is getting lighter, and better.  In our Green Index rated products, recycled and organic content has increased 15% year over year in Q1, and our average Green Index score is 5.87, compared to 6.52 in Q1 2009 (on a 10-point scale with 1 being very green and 10 being very … not).

To read more about our quarterly CSR performance in more detail, visit earthkeeper.com/csr.  Have thoughts about how we’re doing?  Please share them here.

A Textbook Example of Commerce and Justice

I walked off Bryant University’s commencement stage in May of 2009 with a diploma in hand, a wealth of fundamental marketing knowledge and an internship getting my feet wet in the boot business. Like every graduating senior, I thought I knew exactly what to expect from the “real world.” I’d read the textbooks (or at least the chapter summaries), listened closely to my professors and tried to soak up as much knowledge as I could. Excited to start my career, I hoped that my internship at Timberland would put those fundamentals to the test.

Once I got into the swing of it, working in corporate America wasn’t all that bad. My college education had given me a good start and for the most part, I found that this “real world” was fairly controlled. But in January of 2010, that sense of control seemed to vanish.

As a true millennial, I don’t read the newspaper, so I first heard about the earthquake in Haiti through social means, followed by a Google search. The boot makers I worked with were passionate about helping Haiti, and we had committed to reforestation projects there just months earlier. Word of the earthquake spread fast around Timberland headquarters and, naturally, rumors started swirling. But one outstanding question left me profoundly worried: did the Haitian artists that designed the artwork for our Yéle Haiti t-shirts perish during the disaster?

The “Five Musketeers” — FOSAJ artists that designed the artwork for Timberland’s Yéle Haiti t-shirts.

Read the rest of this entry »

Boots on the Ground

Timberland has had the privilege of partnering with City Year for more than 20 years.  What started out as a simple request — “We need boots.  Please send some.  Love, City Year” has over the years grown into a mutually beneficial relationship that has helped us create a deeper, broader, sustainable impact in our communities — and helped to equip thousands of young leaders to make their own difference on our world.

As 1,500 current corps members across the country prepare to graduate this month, we’d like to share the following excerpt from an essay written by a young corps member in Los Angeles.  Whether you’re intimately familiar with the City Year organization or have never heard of it, it’s hard to read without feeling just a little bit hopeful (or maybe even a lot) about the future in these passionate, capable young hands.

(The City Year uniform) represents the unity we feel. Regardless of where we come from and where we serve, we are all at City Year for the same reason: We want to change things; we want to help. We are each spending a year serving full-time in schools and communities to make a difference in the lives of others. Or, as our motto puts it: “Give a year. Change the world.”

Along with what the uniform represents, it is also a constant reminder of many of the memories and lessons that I have learned from City Year.  After serving for so long, a corps member is bound to bear some war wounds on their uniform. At this point, my boots are pretty worn out.  On my right boot, there’s a streak of yellow paint from the day we painted a mural at Figueroa Elementary School. I could have tried to wash it off if I really wanted to, but I cherish this stain. It’s a reminder of the beautification work that we all do across Los Angeles.

* * *

Our uniforms aren’t just uniforms. They are symbols of what we stand for and what we have done. However, there is still a lot of yellow space yet to be filled, inevitably, with more paint and scuff marks.

There is still more work to do.

You can read the essay  “No Ordinary Uniform” in its entirety on the GOOD website.