Archive for June, 2011

The Kindergarten of Stella International Ltd.

In another report from our Code of Conduct team, we learn about the work being done by one of Timberland’s longtime footwear vendors in China to support its community of employees and their families:

In order to better meet the educational needs of their employees’ children, Stella Group opened their first on-site kindergarten in 2000. After great initial success and enthusiasm from employees, Stella opened two more kindergartens shortly after.  Today, Stella Group’s 3 kindergartens are staffed by 17 professional teachers and serve more than 270 employees’ children.

Compared with other kindergarten options, Stella’s kindergarten is less costly and more convenient for employees.  The children enjoy studying and playing, and are learning life skills and educational basics, as well as etiquette.

Stella’s students showing off their accomplishments

The kindergarten holds many special events and activities, including Festival Day and Children’s Day, and Stella’s management participates in the activities with children.  Each year Stella hosts a “how to educate the children” program, and this year invited a professional teacher from Taiwan to train the kindergarten’s teachers and children’s parents. 120 teachers and parents participated in this training, which included a rich discussion with the professional teacher about the excellent education methods she has learned from her years of experience.

All dressed up for Children’s Day festivities!

We’re proud to work with companies like Stella that recognize the importance of early education and are committed to supporting it.  Well done, Stella!

Passion for Planting in China

Nina Lin, one of Timberland’s Code of Conduct team members, shared with us this inspiring tree-planting story from a factory we work with in China:

Between  2009 and 2010, employees at Jiangmen Yi Xin Tanning Company Limited (“Yi Xin”) have planted nearly 2,000 larch seedlings on the mountain slopes surrounding their factory.  The company has focused on planting as a means of creating a greener environment, preventing the loss of soil and water, reducing noise and providing workers with a green as well as comfortable working environment.  The commitment is showing good progress, as those larch seedlings have grown into a forest little by little.

Yi Xin tree planting volunteers

This past March, a group of employees and volunteers converged once again at the foot of the mountain for another day of planting.  It had been more than two years since the first tree-planting activity, and the weeds growing up around the mountain were as tall as the larches.

In spite of the cold weather, the volunteers still worked with high passion, divided into many groups and assigned with different tasks. Some of us took out weeds, while others removed dead wood. We wielded our sickles, spades and hoes with big smiles on our faces, while the sweat drenched us.  Under our great efforts, the landscape surrounding our factory became greener and greener; it was satisfying to be able to put our environmental passion into action within our own community.

We look forward to planting more trees and continuing to improve the natural environment and our factory environment in the future.

“By Giving, We Receive:” An exclusive interview with Timberland featured band, Alma Desnuda

Managing Timberland’s Community Music program gives me the opportunity to work with passionate up-and-coming musicians who have strong environmental values. I was taken aback when one of our featured bands, Alma Desnuda , asked to donate the Timberland footwear we offered them to children in need. I have to admit I was surprised –I mean, who doesn’t want free boots? Below is a Q&A with Alma Desnuda’s Chris Bryden, who gives us an exclusive look at the values philosophy behind the band.

Amanda: We hook all of our featured musicians up with Timberland gear. It surprised me when you chose to donate your footwear to the East Oakland Boys and Girls Club. What made you decide to do that?

Chris: We view all the resources that come our way as forms of energy. When we hold onto that energy, it stagnates. When we channel that energy into places that are aligned with our values, the energy is utilized in a way that is congruent with the way the universe works. We have enough clothes and shoes, not all kids from East Oakland do. We quickly realized that your generous gift of gear to us could go much farther on the feet of those who have it harder than we do. Furthermore, we believe that by giving, we receive, though not necessarily in the same form of the giving. And look, it’s true! We’re already receiving exposure to all the people who would not have otherwise have heard about us. This is a valuable resource for us. So thanks!

Amanda: What’s your connection with the East Oakland Boys and Girls Club? Have you ever volunteered or donated items there before?

Chris: We have a beautiful relationship with the Boys and Girls Club. On tour this summer, we jammed for the East L.A. and Austin, TX branches, talking with the youth about the power they have to realize their dreams and giving them an enjoyable musical experience. At the East L.A. performance, we got to sign their Wall of Dreams, alongside the L.A. Lakers! Playing for the youth is the best! They are full of life and hungry for wisdom and experience.

In general, philanthropy is a cornerstone of our band and business model. We play for a diverse array of causes because we are diverse, our communities are diverse, and there are a lot of needs to be met.

For example, we have played for amputee surfers, geriatric communities, incarcerated youth, orphaned youth in Bali, yoga classes, the homeless, food shelters, and the dying to name a few. No matter what your situation, basically everyone loves to get down to good tunes and we realized early that we had a great opportunity to expand our market by focusing on all people in the world, not just those that like to throw a few back at a venue (though I must admit we are partial to getting down on a legit stage with lights, good sound, and an eager crowd!).

Amanda: When did you drop off the shoes? Did you get to meet any of the kids that received them?

Chris: It was actually the day before we left on our international tour, 2 days before Christmas, and we were racing around to get all the last pieces in order when we realized that we had yet to drop off the shoes. So we sent Tony over and when he got there, the director of the center, Magen Clay, gave him a tour of the center, which included a couple computer labs, game room, gym, and a bunch of cool kids of all ages who weren’t shy about saying hello to the random dude with long hair and a guitar on his back!

It turned out that later that evening they had their annual Christmas gift exchange, so our donation came at the perfect time. Everyone was very happy and grateful for the unexpected gifts, and we were happy to know that our love for music has been able to provide some joy to those in need.

Amanda: For our readers that don’t know much about this part of the US, can you describe what East Oakland is like and why some of the kids there are especially in need of new shoes?

Chris: East Oakland is the heart of Northern California’s African-American community. Many factors, including racial prejudice, contribute to the fact that there is a lot of crime, drugs, and prostitution in the area. Poverty is high and opportunities for youth who are seeking a better way of life are few and far between. Places like the East Oakland Boys and Girls Club, East Oakland Youth Development Center, and Youth Uprising, provide a place for youth to be nurtured, empowered, and realize their potential. A pair of authentic Timberlands is a big deal in those parts. We asked the Boys and Girls Club to give the shoes to youth they felt were especially deserving, either through their good behavior or through having an especially needy holiday time.

Amanda: Congrats on your first international tour! If our readers want to go see a band that’s doing well and doing good, where will you be playing over next few months?

Chris: Thank you! The best way to follow us is through our website www.almaDmusic.com, which links to all our social media sites. Bali and Western Australia were incredible experiences. Please check out our tour blog to see some of the amazing photos and videos taken by photographer Gene Kosoy. For those of you interested in seeing us live, we’re off to Europe for the summer, then to infinity and beyond!

If you’re a fan of Alma Desnuda, the band is currently raising cash, grassroots style, to support the production of their new album, “Riders.” Learn more about their 55K in 55 Days project.

One Minute Challenge: How Many Eco-conscious Elements Can We Find?

While in San Francisco, Ramsey and I took on a challenge of “eco” proportions, trying to capture and share in one minute as many sustainable features as possible in one of Timberland’s most eco-conscious stores to date. It took a cable car ride, a pep talk and couple pairs of Timberland Earthkeepers boat shoes to get us pumped up and ready to go. After running around the store, dodging customers* and reclaimed machine base table displays, victory was ours!

*Please note: no customers were harmed in the filming of this video.

Many of Timberland’s store locations around the world, including the San Francisco store, were designed to reflect a long-term commitment to sustainability. Stay tuned for more about Timberland and Sustainable Store Design later this summer!

Honoring Effort and Impact at the Observer Ethical Awards

Timberland’s European PR manager, Esther Lopez Riva, had this news to share from the recent Observer Ethical Awards:

On Thursday 9th June, The Timberland team attended the annual Observer Ethical Awards at the V&A museum in London. Awards were presented to the night’s winners by actor Colin Firth and his wife Livia, model Lily Cole and environmental journalist Lucy Siegle.  The esteemed panel of judges for the event included TV presenter and adventurer Ben Fogle, physicist Brian Cox and even iconic naturalist, Bill Oddie!

Colin Firth and the women of Timberland

Timberland was the proud sponsor of the Observer ‘Grass Roots Award’ and Anabel Drese, our CSR Manager and OEA judge was there to present the award to the Bristol Bike Project.

Timberland’s Anabel Drese and the Bristol Bike Project team

The Bristol Bicycle Project is a volunteer-run, community bicycle project that repairs, reuses and relocates unwanted bicycles within underprivileged and marginalised groups in the city. See link here for more on the work they do:

http://www.thebristolbikeproject.org/

Dig It, Part 1

“On this side of the house, it’s like 100 degrees for me.
If we could get some trees out here, I might be outside just playing.”

- Young resident of the William Meade Homes, Los Angeles, CA

Part 1 of our Dig It documentary highlights the social and health impacts of living in a community that’s void of trees … and the efforts of volunteers and activists alike who are determined to be part of a solution to the climate change problem.

You can learn more about the Dig it documentary and view additional footage from the film in the Dig It section of our website.

Belinda Pasqua Wins Handbag Award

Australian-born designer Belinda Pasqua was named the winner of the “Best Green Handbag” design at the 2011 Independent Handbag Designer Awards (IHDA) in New York City last night. For the second consecutive year, Timberland sponsored the “Best Green Handbag” category and helped to select the winning design.

Pasqua’s winning Marlo Tote was honored at the IHDA for its unique design, which merges repurposed premium leathers from scrap and excess tannery leather with traditional handwork and a modern silhouette.

Belinda Pasqua’s winning Marlo Tote handbag

Inspired by the Australian landscape she grew up admiring, Pasqua started The Sway collection of handbags to give women eco-conscious and beautiful design. Like all of Pasqua’s bags, the Marlo Tote features recycled cotton linings with her signature ‘Boomerang’ print inspired by Aboriginal art.  Her bags are available for purchase at www.theswaynyc.com, Fred Segal, Kaight NYC, Searle, and International Playground.

Timberland’s Jackie LaLime was on hand to present the award, and shared her thoughts about Belinda and her design:

Belinda’s love of nature and dedication to the environment shines through in her beautifully crafted designs, and aligns perfectly with Timberland’s values.  With the Marlo Tote, she has created a bag that combines detailed craftsmanship with sustainability and style, using leather pieces that would otherwise go to waste. The result is a green handbag that allows women to look great and feel great while wearing it.  It’s what green design is all about.

Award winner Belinda Pasqua and Timberland’s Jackie LaLime

A selection of Pasqua’s designs will be on display for a limited time at the Timberland® store at 474 Broadway in New York City in the coming weeks.  In addition, Pasqua will have the opportunity to collaborate with the Timberland women’s footwear design team on a limited edition Earthkeepers™ handbag and boot collection, slated to come out in 2012.

Mow At Your Own Risk (and Preferably in Steel-Toe Boots)

From our email inbox, yet another scary lawn-mowing story — this one courtesy of Dennis in Ontario, Canada:

I have been the owner of a pair of Timberland Pros for about three years. I found the boots to be very comfortable and durable. I am in the construction trade and wear the boots daily.

On May 26, I returned home from work and proceeded to cut the grass. As I was working in a garden area of my yard I was backing up and tripped over a rock in the garden, pulling the lawnmower up and onto my foot. The quality of your product saved me from what would have been serious if not catastrophic injury. The steel toe stopped the blade from striking my foot and I only received bruising from the impact.

I have since replaced the shredded boots with a new pair of Timberlands, and am writing this as a testament to the quality of your product.

Thanks again.

Free Music Friday: Filligar

Together, three Chicago brothers and a lifelong friend are Filligar, a classic-rock-meets-modern-sound band we’re featuring as Timberland’s artist of the month for June.   Here’s half the band talking about the ways in which they’re making music and making a positive social and environmental impact:

You can get the free download of Filligar’s song “Wild Nature” on our music page.

Timberland Community Music: Exclusive Session with Alma Desnuda

You’ll never guess who Ramsey and I ran into while we were video blogging in San Francisco… Chris and Paul from December’s Timberland Community featured band Alma Desnuda! We had a chance to watch them play at the San Francisco store Grand Opening and chat about their eco-conscious efforts on tour. Check out this exclusive interview and clips from their performance:

And if you really dig their tunes, Alma Desnuda is currently raising cash, grassroots style, to support the production of their new album, “Riders.” Visit http://www.almaDmusic.com for more information. While you’re there you can get a free song download or make a pledge to get the album pre-released before it comes out to the masses!