Archive for March, 2012

When a House Becomes a Home

Last September during Timberland Serv-a-palooza (our annual global community service event), over 150 Timberland employees, associates, friends and family members pulled on their boots and spent the day in the rainy parking lot at our Stratham, NH headquarters.  The project: working with Habitat for Humanity to frame five houses that would be given to families from Joplin, Missouri whose homes were devastated by last spring’s tornadoes.

Inspired by Timberland’s commitment, the Tulsa Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity matched and exceeded our donation by framing an additional ten houses for the Joplin community.

Six months later, I’m excited to report that all fifteen houses are now finished and occupied by happy homeowners, including Amber Lancaster and her two sons.  They couldn’t be more appreciative or deserving of the Timberland house they’re now calling home:

Breaking ground on Amber's house

Timberland-built frames going up!

The finished product

To learn more about Timberland’s commitment to creating a positive impact on our communities, please visit the Responsibility section of our website.

Bye Bye, Wool Socks … Hello, Peep Toes

If you’re not quite ready to give up the cozy comforts of winter and embrace the light bright styles of spring, these fresh-picked Timberland Boot Company beauties may give you just the kick you need:

The Spring 2012 Boot Company styles draw their inspiration from the similarly durable-yet-beautiful women’s footwear found in the early 20th century — well made, well worn and well loved.  Here’s Penny, our Women’s Boot Company Designer, to tell us more:

Our Spring 2012 Boot Company collection for women offers beautiful craftsmanship in a bouquet of styles. Pick one for yourself.

Get a Grip With Formentor Bags

You might expect superior traction and stability when you’re wearing Timberland’s Formentor boat shoes made with Gripstick technology … but did you know we use the same Gripstick technology in our Formentor bag collection?  It’s our way of making sure your gear stays as safe and dry as you do.

Our Formentor bags are made with lightweight, durable synthetics and feature waterproof zippers and polyurethane-coated plastic hardware for superior grip in wet or dry conditions.  These bags get their own treatment of Gripstick technology in the form of non-marking rubber feet, which protect the bags (and their contents) from the ground and reduce tipping and slipping.

Our Formentor Waterproof Tote Bag is ready to go to the beach or boat, and its water-resistant detachable pouch is perfect for carrying small essentials:

Formentor Waterproof Tote

For not-so-small essentials, our Formentor Waterproof Duffle Bag offers protection from the elements in streamlined style:

Formentor Waterproof Duffle

Need a bag that’s as changeable as the summer weather?  Check out our Formentor Waterproof 4-in-1. Depending on how you configure the straps, it can be used as a pack, duffle, tote or sling, making it the perfect go-to bag for any warm-weather adventure:

Formentor Waterproof Convertible Drawstring Pack

If you’re looking for sea-worthy style from head to toe, pair these bags with our Formentor apparel and footwear.

Apparel Competitors Unite

These days, there are countless apparel manufacturers and labels out there that make their own unique eco-conscious claims. Problem is, nobody’s really on the same page on what truly constitutes an environmentally-friendly product. So what’s a consumer to believe? How can they make informed purchasing decisions when every company uses a different scorecard?

The answer is collaboration. Toward this end, an industry-wide group of leading brands, retailers, manufacturers, non-profits, academic experts and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency came together to create the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) . The SAC is working to reduce the environmental and social impacts of apparel and footwear products around the world by developing common measurements and a common environmental understanding of products’ impacts across our industry.

To accomplish this, the SAC built on the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) ’s Eco Index™, a standardized tool for measuring the environmental impacts of outdoor products (things like boots, clothing, tents, and more). The Eco Index™ evaluates impacts in six key areas of a product’s lifecycle: Materials, Packaging, Product Manufacturing and Assembly, Transport and Distribution, Use of Service and End of Life.

The SAC adapted the Eco Index™ for apparel in an effort to give brands like Timberland more control over reducing environmental impacts right from the outset, rather than relying on factories. Factories, too, will benefit from the Index, by having only one standard of measurement to respond to, rather than a different set of standards for each and every brand. In this way, suppliers will be able to focus more on solutions, rather than audits and testing.

The SAC’s adapted Eco Index™ is now being pilot tested in factories.  The ultimate goal is to develop a tool that can be used by brands and factories to improve the environmental sustainability of their industry, and by consumers to make more informed decisions about the products they buy.

To learn more about the ways in which Timberland is working to create its products with processes and materials that cause less harm to the environment, please visit the Responsibility section of our website.

Thank You, Frederick Strickland

Mr. Strickland was a mid-1800’s adventure seeker; he was the first man in recorded history to summit Mount Washington in the winter … and also the first man to die on Mount Washington during his attempted descent. (For the purposes of this story, let’s just focus on Frederick’s life, not death.)

The fearless (some might say foolish) passion for the outdoors that fueled Frederick Strickland and other early adventurers like him serves as inspiration for Timberland’s Spring 2012 Abington Collection — full of handsome, durable, comfortable boots and shoes made for the most discerning outdoor pioneers.

Abington Alpine Ox Hiker

Abington 6-Eye Canoe Boot

Abington Lodge Moccasin Ox

Click on the video below to go behind the scenes on our Abington photo shoot; to learn more about our collection of Strickland-inspired footwear, visit the Abington website.

The No. 1 Rule to Looking Good on a Boat: Stay on the Boat

Over 18 months ago, we challenged our product developers to come up with a performance boat shoe that could grip like crazy when you need it most, but also look great on shore. The result? The Formentor, which features Timberland Gripstick™ technology.

And no better time to create a performance boat shoe: last summer, we announced our technical sponsorship of the Spanish Olympic Sailing team.  As they make their bid for London in 2012, we’re proud to outfit the team in our Timberland footwear and apparel.

Just how well does our Formentor perform?  See for yourself:

Get your nautical on: Our spring 2012 collection of boat shoes has something for sailors and land-lovers alike.

Real Women Wear Timberlands

Authentic and outdoors:  it describes our brand, and also describes the photos that make up the women’s gallery on our website – no studio, no stylists, just real women wearing real Timberland gear in the great outdoors.  See?

Like our footwear, our women’s gallery models not only look good, they perform well, too.  See for yourself what a cold and windy day they had to endure (with smiles on their faces!) for the photo shoot:

To check out all of our natural beauties and their Timberland styles, visit the women’s gallery on our website.

There’s Nothing Pretty About Falling in the Drink

That’s why our designers take great care to make sure our boat shoes work as good as they look. For example, Timberland’s Formentor boat shoes are made with Timberland Gripstick rubber (for superior traction on wet surfaces) and use  ion-mask technology by P2i to ensure that these shoes shed water more easily.

Here’s Alyssa, the lead designer for our Outdoor Adventure products for women, to explain more about how the Formentor meets the wants and needs of women seeking a stylish shoe that’s fit to perform on land and sea:

Love the look? Buy your own. The Formentor (as well as a boatload of other sail-worthy shoes) is available on our website.

Two Years Later, 1.4 Million Trees Greener

We’ve planted 1.4 million trees in Haiti since 2010, when we launched the Timberland tree nursery and training project there as part of our commitment to plant 5 million trees in five years.

Less than 2% of Haiti’s original forests remain due to a long history of unsustainable land use practices and a continuing dependence on tree wood and charcoal for cooking and heating needs. The deforestation causes a decline in soil fertility, which results in erosion that leads to extensive flooding, depleted groundwater supplies and food insecurity.

The Timberland tree nursery project in Haiti is an example of our commitment to Earthkeepers — the philosophy that guides us in everything we do. By building a community-based agroforestry model that includes eight tree nurseries run by volunteer farmers throughout the Gonaives region, Timberland is connecting those farmers with trees, seeds, tools and training. The combination of these elements has resulted in larger crop yields, which means more food to eat, crops to sell and increased income for the farmers and their families.

This video highlights the progress we’re seeing in our Haitian tree nursery project, and the positive impact we’re helping to “plant” for the people and environment in Haiti.

To learn more about Timberland’s commitment to reforestation in Haiti as well as other regions of the world, visit the tree planting section of our website.

Timberland Teams Up With IMEC to Help Haiti from Afar

What can you do with sixteen Timberland volunteers and five hours? If you pile them into a few cars and drive them to IMEC in northern Massachusetts, you can sort medical equipment and build four pallets of supplies that will be sent to a teaching hospital in Haiti. And in late February, that’s just what we did.

Simply put, IMEC receives surplus or discarded healthcare equipment from hospitals and ships it to developing nations where the need is great and the supplies can save lives (you can read their full mission statement here). I learned that much as I planned this service event. But when I arrived at IMEC with 15 of my colleagues, I found out that one of IMEC’s current major projects involves stocking and transforming the Mirebalais Hospital in Haiti, a 310-bed teaching facility and the first of its kind in the country.

Timberland has partnered with IMEC for years, sending volunteers to pack shipments and donating used office supplies for medical administrative suites. But I was struck by the interconnectedness of Timberland’s mission to plant trees, build community, and create a sustainable future in Haiti and IMEC’s mission to do, essentially, the same thing. Quality, affordable healthcare doesn’t exist separately from higher crop yields and better nutrition. Each element is part of a greater synergy that promotes a sustainable, healthy future for the people of Haiti—and that’s pretty cool. Check out YouTube for some illuminating videos of IMEC’s work thus far in Haiti.

Our volunteer group enjoyed a few hours of teamwork and service, but the pallets of supplies we prepared at IMEC will be of use long after that February afternoon. Look for more stories in the coming weeks and months as we continue to celebrate 20 years of Timberland service in 2012!