Archive for July, 2012

Because Running Around Barefoot Isn’t Always Safe (or Pretty)

Yes, yes, I know — it’s summer and for some of us “summer” is defined as: “the only 3 months of the year in which I don’t have to wear wool socks and heavy footwear.”  It’s bare feet season, baby.

But for the few occasions when it’s just not a good idea to run around with naked feet (trail running, sprinting across very hot pavement to get to the ice cream truck, the day you meant to get a pedicure but didn’t), we bring you the Earthkeepers BareStep Trail Oxford.  You’ll love that the BareStep is fashionable and functional (thanks to a super-stable outsole made with Gripstick and Green Rubber) and your feet will love the cushy faux-suede lining.  Here’s Ellen to tell you more:

If you’re not loving the leather look, not to worry — our Earthkeepers Barestep Collection also includes a sporty oxford featuring breathable mesh and bright colors, and a clog lined with SmartWool and faux shearling. (Because like it or not, bare feet season isn’t going to last forever.)

Measuring What Matters and the Higg Index

Last week, the Wall Street Journal published an article about the newly-launched Higg Index, which will allow brands, factories and chemical manufacturers to score the relative sustainability of their products. Eventually, the intent is to also make that information available to consumers to better inform their purchasing decisions — much in the same way you can compare nutrition labels to make smart choices at the grocery store.

The Higg Index was developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) in partnership with the Outdoor Industry Association Sustainability Working Group (OIA SWG).  Timberland is proud to have been a founder, and to continue to play a leadership role, in both of these groups. In fact, the Higg Index was inspired in part by our Green Index® rating system, which “scores” Timberland products based on their environmental impacts.

The launch of the Higg Index is important news, and a sign that we’re moving in the right direction of increased transparency and sustainability in the footwear and apparel industry.  We look forward to working with the other members of the SAC and OIA SWG as the tool develops.

Progress marches on!

Pins, Playlists and Putting Ourselves in a Wanderlust Mood

We’re officially halfway through our Wanderlust summer, and gearing up for festival #3 at Squaw Valley this weekend.  For those if you just tuning in, Timberland is the official greening partner for Wanderlust 2012, and we’re helping to make this one-of-a-kind festival a little greener and less impactful on the environment.

There’s nothing quite like the actual Wanderlust experience — world-class yoga, locally-grown food, inspiring speakers and breathtaking outdoor settings — but we don’t all have the luxury of time or travel budgets to be Wanderlust groupies all summer long (lovely as that sounds).  Now there’s a cure for the Wanderlust woes:  if you’re passionate about Pinterest, go check out Timberland’s Pinterest page where you’ll find our Wanderlust board.  The photos of our Stratton Mountain hike are guaranteed to slow your frantic mind.  And if music is more your thing, we’ve put together a Wanderlust-inspired playlist on Spotify (you’ve got to be a registered Spotify user to listen).  Think Jack Johnson, Ben Harper, Ani Difranco … that kind of soundtrack will get you through the day, no?

Pins and playlists — It’s kind of like a staycation for your mind and spirit.  Enjoy.  And if you want to learn more about our involvement with the wonderful world of Wanderlust, check out our festivals page.

Plenty of Reasons to Plant Trees

Did you know that trees have countless benefits, like oxygen production, mudslide prevention, natural water filtration… and honesty? No, we’re not making this up. In South America, the Maiten tree is known as the “tree of truth” by aborigines because no lies can be told under its shelter. No one really likes a liar, so the Timberland team in Argentina has been working hard to plant 3,500 of them!

Tree planting volunteers in Argentina

But that’s not the only place we’re planting. We’re putting roots in the ground all over the world in places like India, Belgium, Russia, Germany, Venezuela, Italy and Portugal, too. Who knows, we might be planting trees in your own backyard!

Tree planting in Italy

Each of our tree planting projects has a story to tell and a unique benefit to the local community, from providing shelter to native butterfly species, to saving a famous pine forest from eroding away into the ocean, to reforesting areas devastated by forest fires. And to share these stories with you, we launched seven new Local Programs tree planting pages on our Community site where you can find out why we’re planting and see the dedicated teams doing the digging.

Tree planters in action in Venezuela

From the Patagonia Mountains to the sandy seaside forest in Leiria, the pictures from these projects are worth a thousand words… and thousands of trees: http://community.timberland.com/local-programs

The Power of Service Inspires Taiwan

2012 marks the 20th anniversary of Timberland’s Path of Service™ program, which gives employees 40 hours of paid time off to serve in their communities. This milestone provides an opportunity to recognize the importance of service to our corporate culture, honor our heritage, and look for ways to deepen our commitment to service. One way we are doing that is by expanding that commitment beyond our employee base—encouraging consumers to join us in serving in their communities.

Our Timberland team in Taiwan is leading the way, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Path of Service™ program by setting a goal to serve 10,000 hours in 2012. Consumers who serve with us will be thanked for their efforts: those who serve 24 hours throughout the year at Timberland events will receive a free Timberland T-shirt, while those who serve 40 hours will receive a free pair of Earthkeepers boots!

The first of five major service events planned occurred in March, when a team gathered to help clean and protect Taiwan’s eroding seashore. Timberland employee and consumer volunteers built a fence to help slow the loss of sand, and categorized and recorded waste collected. Volunteers were amazed to discover that some of the waste came from Korea, Japan and even the Philippines.

The next consumer-oriented service event took place in May, when a Taiwan service team ventured into the mountains to help beautify a national park and eradicate non-indigenous plants and marine life that are creating an ecological imbalance in local ponds.

Timberland Taiwan’s 10,000 service-hour goal is well on its way to being met, with some 3,000 service hours accrued in early 2012.  We hope to take Taiwan’s model and expand it to a more global scale, as we aim to share Timberland’s passion for service, while making it fun and easy for consumers all over the world to engage with our brand.

To learn more about our commitment to community service and the ways in which we’re working to make a difference around the world, visit our Responsibility site.

The Quickest (and Cleanest!) Way to Plant a Tree

Two years ago, Timberland launched a community-based agroforestry program in Haiti that includes 8 tree nurseries run by volunteer farmers.  We connect those farmers with trees, seeds, tools and training, and they grow trees and crops to sell and eat.  It’s all part of Timberland’s commitment to plant 5 million trees before 2015.

You can help our agroforestry program grow without getting your hands dirty (although I understand that for some people, that’s half the fun) — and you might even learn a little something about yourself at the same time.  Just answer the personality questions in our Timberland “Hortiscope” (get it?) on Facebook to learn which tree species you most resemble.  When you take the quiz, we’ll plant a real tree for you in Haiti.

To learn more about Timberland’s commitment to regreening communities around the world, check out the tree planting section of our website.  And for more videos about our agroforestry program in Haiti, go to our YouTube channel.

A Bounty of Beautiful Boat Shoes

You don’t need stellar sailing credentials to sport this season’s colorful, comfortable nautical style: Check out some of our favorite Timberland women showing off their favorite Timberland boat shoes:

Love the looks?  You can shop our entire boat shoe collection now to find your own sea-worthy style.

Setting Sail for London

In a few short weeks, all eyes will be on London as athletes from across the globe gather to compete in the world’s foremost sports competition.  The Royal Spanish Sailing Federation will be among them — and along with Timberland Formentor boat shoes and gear, we’re sending them off with our very best wishes for fair winds, calm seas, and good grip.

Go get ‘em, team.

Behind the Scenes: Timberland Boot Company Fall 2012 Photo Shoot

Timberland Boot Company examines an era defined by hardworking men and women in New England from 1900-1045. This was a time when the world was rapidly changing, with one foot firmly rooted in the past and the other relentlessly marching forward. Precipitated by the advent of machinery, craftsmen mixed tradition with innovation.

When it came time for our Fall 2012 Boot Company photo shoot, we kept this spirit in mind and traveled to Peabody, Massachusetts — the unrivaled Leather Capital of the World. In the 1920s, men endured long days in harsh conditions to create exceptional footwear. To capture their story, we endured our own long days and harsh conditions inside one of the last remaining leather tanneries in North America.

Our photo shoot location - an old leather tannery

There we found lots of rich material to act as a back drop to our amazing Fall 2012 product (as well as lots of trash, mice and other gnarly stuff). The air was stale, but steeped in a rich history. In true Boot Company fashion, we found vintage leather dying barrels, handmade carts resting next to industrial measuring and cutting machines. Stacks of beautiful, multi-colored leather sat unused next to well-worn tools and gears. It would be a DIY, restoration aficionado’s dream. Interestingly, you could chart the history of this tannery through the various pin-up girl calendars scattered throughout the building.

Piles of beautiful, unused leather

Not kidding about the old pin-up girl calendars

Over the next few days, we worked feverishly to get all the shots in the waning winter light. Once we were done, we found out that we were the last ones to use the building before it was destroyed to make way for a condominium housing complex. Time continues marching forward.

Getting the last few shots

Here’s a sneak peek at some of the Fall 2012 lookbook images.  Enjoy and stay tuned — Timberland Boot Company’s Fall collection will be available soon.

Timberland’s Quarterly CSR Reporting

Earlier this week, Timberland announced its CSR performance results for the first quarter of 2012. Highlights from each of our four CSR pillars (climate, product, factories, and service) are below.  Specific Q1 2012 performance data and analysis can be found on the Goals & Progress section of Timberland’s Responsibility website.

CLIMATE:

  • Our Greenhouse Gas emissions decreased 8.5% compared to Q1 2011, primarily due to new clean energy purchases in the United Kingdom, as well as Italy and Germany. Other factors were slight reduction in air travel and a warm winter (whereby we used less heating throughout global facilities).

PRODUCT:

  • We have successfully upgraded our product lifecycle management software to better automate Green Index® scores for our footwear. During 2012, we are working towards our goal to have all footwear scored by the end of this year.
  • Timberland continues to prioritize the use of environmentally-preferred materials in our products. In Q1 2012, 34.6% of materials in our apparel production were recycled, organic, or renewable (ROR). Timberland’s International Design Center continues to drive improved ROR use across our apparel production. We are also working with our Licensee partners to further incorporate these materials.

FACTORIES:

  • In Q1 2012, our new parent company (VF) began assessing Timberland suppliers. Consistent with VF’s commitment to promote best practices and continuous improvement throughout its factories, Timberland’s Code of Conduct team (renamed to Supplier Sustainability Team in 2012) will continue to engage suppliers by providing remediation assistance, capacity building and “beyond compliance” efforts. For more information about changes in our Compliance & Supplier Sustainability program see http://responsibility.timberland.com/factories.

SERVICE:

  • Timberland employees served a total of 23,555 hours as of the end of Q1 2012. The Hours Utilization Rate (the percentage of employee service hours used compared to total available according to the Path of Service program) year to date at the end of Q1 2012 was 11.8%, which is up 3.8% vs. Q1 2011. This is primarily driven by significant increases in hours served by our employees in the Dominican Republic and North America.

Looking for more?  Additional details about our quarterly performance, goals and progress can be found on our Responsibility website.  If you have thoughts, questions or comments about our CSR performance, we’d love to hear them.  Email us at csrinfo@timberland.com.