Archive for May, 2011
… In the hollows of Appalachia, under repeated assault from the region’s dominant coal industry, a movement for change has been germinated. Surrounded by over one million acres of horrific devastation, an unlikely coalition of Americans have come together to save their community. The Last Mountain follows their journey of anger, insight, achievement and inspiration.
- Bill Haney, director / co-writer, The Last Mountain
The Last Mountain documents the conflict between a group of West Virginia residents struggling to protect their health and environment, and the coal company utilizing the destructive practice of mountaintop removal in their community. The movie was selected to be screened at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival in January, and the movie trailer earned the coveted title of “favorite trailer” from viewers on the Timberland / 2011 Sundance Film Festival page. See for yourself:
And now, the film is available to those of us who didn’t catch it at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival; The Last Mountain debuts this Friday at Landmark Theatres in New York and Washington, D.C., and will appear in cities across the U. S. over the next few months. Click here for a complete list of cities and dates.
To learn more about the issue and how you can take action to help stop mountaintop removal mining, visit The Last Mountain web site.
Eco-conscious footwear just took a step forward.
For 2011, Timberland in Europe has collaborated with ecological footwear brand Po-Zu to create a collection of shoes that are light on your feet and light on the environment. Featuring natural materials (such as hemp, coconut fibers and natural latex) and vegetable-tanned leathers, the collection is also designed for disassembly — simply return the shoes to a Timberland store at the end of their useful life, and we’ll recycle and reuse as many parts and components as we can. (Bonus – the coconut fiber shoebox they come in is compostable and can be used as seed trays!)
The partnership between Timberland and Po-Zu grew out of a shared vision of promoting the best practices in environmental design. Po-Zu founder and designer Sven Segal conceived and launched the brand with the goal of setting new standards in ecological and ethical footwear manufacturing.
To collaborate felt instinctively comfortable as I was familiar with Timberland’s ethical stance and eco-consciousness. We have launched a product that is both sustainable and manufactured to very high standards. I am delighted with the results.
- Sven Segal, Po-Zu founder and designer
The Po-Zu collection of footwear is currently available in select markets only (sorry, U.S. shoe shoppers). You can shop the collection online here. To learn more about the good work Po-Zu is doing to make the world of footwear more ecological and ethical one pair at a time, please visit their website.
Why is it that the world’s coolest brand sees a choice between delivering new culture changing products and delivering them … sustainably? How does Apple get away with such a limited imagination in this day and age?
CEOs of publicly-traded companies in the fashion industry don’t get the “pass” that comes to the super cool Apple leaders and their uber cool company. Meaning, my shareholders and my consumers insist that we create profit, quarter by quarter, and that we do it … in a sustainable fashion, both in terms of environmental practice, and in terms of transparency and safe working conditions in the supply chain. Why does a boot maker get held to a higher standard than an iPad maker?
Is it because consumers of iPads and iPhones and iMacs don’t care about how their products are made, about how much energy was used, what chemicals were involved, what impact on the environment the manufacturing process wreaks, or whether the rapidly churned products will end up being recycled or in a landfill at the end of their usable life? I doubt it. The elite technology adopters who “wear” their Apple products like a badge of hipster coolness seem to me like the very center of the “moral capitalism” consumer universe—hanging at Davos, orating at TED, elbow rubbing at SXSW. As a wannabe cool guy, I sit here with my headphones on, listening to my iPod and working on my iPad, wanting to feel as cutting-edge as the technology at my command … but instead, I feel a little sick. Because a brand that’s seen as a world leader is, in this case, failing to lead.
Apple refuses to set targets for reducing its carbon emissions. Despite Chinese factory workers falling seriously ill after being exposed to a toxic chemical while manufacturing Apple products, the company remains tight-lipped about its supply chain – presumably prescribing to the belief that that supply chain secrecy is key to competitiveness. It’s an argument that sounds vaguely familiar: in the last decade, some in the fashion industry pleaded the same argument with activists. The outcome? These days everyone knows where Nike and Timberland and adidas manufacture —names, addresses—and the “competitive secret” argument is debunked. Period. Don’t tell me cool and sustainable aren’t compatible—there are too many examples in the marketplace, earning plaudits from consumers and activists for anyone to believe otherwise.
With success and leadership comes a heightened expectation of responsibility – and Apple is failing that test. And the worst part? The company’s “rebel without a corporate responsibility cause” attitude doesn’t seem to hurt it one bit with consumers or investors.
Many of us – myself included – are perpetuating a mind-blowing double standard, proudly browsing the organic produce section and flaunting our recycled grocery totes … but wave the “it” technology product of the month in front of us, and we forget all about business’s need to be transparent and accountable and responsible.
Why should consumers like me have to choose between transformational technology and moral consumption? To iPad, or not to iPad—why is that the question? Why shouldn’t Apple’s leadership instead have to raise its game, and make their cool products and their cool company more socially accountable? If Apple would replicate the speed-to-market rigor and innovation of their product development in their corporate responsibility agenda, consumers like me could have our cool and self respect.
Apple should keep exceeding my expectations for products, but not at the expense of my expectations for social and environmental responsibility. They can and must show leadership in sustainability, not just in technology. That would be Thinking Differently.
From our email inbox, two flavors of customer feedback today … one complimentary, one not so complimentary. I’ll leave it to you to figure out which is which.
The first comes from Ciro, a discerning shopper with (thankfully) a sense of humor:
… Ordered this jacket because it looked great and seemed like a steal for the discounted price. Little did I know that as soon as you try it on you’re going to look like poultry. I’ve had other down jackets where feathers occasionally pop out, but this one is ridiculous. The “shell” material is so thin and poorly made that you will be plucking feathers off of yourself for hours to come. So unless you’ve got a Halloween party coming up where your date is Colonel Sanders, I would advise strongly against purchasing this jacket. I would expect much better from Timberland.
So would we, which is why we’ve shared the “poultry” feedback with our apparel folks. Feathers may be all the rage in hair extensions and jewelry, but we do believe they belong on the inside of a jacket.
Austin in Iowa had this to share:
I bought a pair of your boots 4 years ago. Very glad I did. Perfect for around the yard landscaping as well as fall hunting for the birds. Not too heavy, perfect for on the go. Gortex keeps my feet dry and my wife hates it when I come inside wearing them. I can’t blame her. But, I know in any prediction, wearing these boots, I’m ready for anything: weed-eating, mowing, climbing, running, putting the boat in, chasing foxes through the pasture. Love these boots. Please keep making them. This is my 4th pair.
I’m with Austin’s wife on this one — if he’s chasing foxes, hunting birds and running through pastures in his Mount Chocoruas, the boots probably deserve to stay outside at the end of the day. But we’re grateful for his love and enthusiasm, dirty boots or not.
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