Archive for January, 2013

Timberland Helps Haiti Plant 2 Million Trees (and Counting)

Three years after committing to plant 5 million trees in five years, Timberland is proud to share progress of improved environmental, economic and social conditions in the rural region near Gonaives, Haiti.  In partnership with a local non-governmental organization, the Smallholder Farmers Alliance, we support an agroforestry program to train Haitian farmers to improve crop yields – and have planted 2.2 million trees along the way.

In 2010, Timberland teamed up with representatives from the Smallholder Farmers Alliance to create a self-sustaining agroforestry model that would deliver agricultural improvement, environmental restoration and economic growth for participating farmers through the development of eight community tree nurseries and agricultural training centers. This pilot cooperative, which is reliant on private sector, non-profit and community partnership, will plant a million more trees in 2013, 2014 and 2015, for a total of 5 million.

The Smallholder Farmers Alliance engaged a group of 2,000 small-scale farmers in the area near Gonaives and transformed the group into a for-profit agroforestry cooperative.  The farmers volunteer their time to manage the tree nurseries and plant trees in return for agricultural services, including high-yield seed, training in crop management, in-field technical support and the good quality tools needed to produce higher yields of sorghum, beans, corn and other food items. Farmers sell their crops individually, but the cooperative supports them by paying for these continued services with the sale of excess trees from the farmer-run tree nurseries.

After just three years of investment, the cooperative continues as a farmer-managed, self-financed operation. This innovation in “exit strategy aid,” which sets a time limit on external funding, tackles a key challenge faced by corporate organizations when getting involved in sustainability or disaster relief projects on the ground in developing nations.

To learn more about Timberland’s tree planting efforts visit the community section of our website.

Behind the Scenes: Spring ’13 Photo Shoot

Here at Timberland, we love our snow. Nothing is better than the white stuff. But even I have to admit that this year I couldn’t be more excited for the warming temps!

Spring is all about having fun in the sand, sun, and water. When it came time for our Spring 2013 photo shoot, we kept this spirit in mind and traveled to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

For over a century, MV has been one of the most popular summer destinations on the east coast- and we definitely aren’t surprised. There is something for every warm weather traveler. Not only does it have some of the best beaches in the country, but it is also home to lakes, miles of trails to explore, and authentic boat builder workshops.

We found lots of interesting landscapes to act as a back drop to our colorful Spring 2013 product (where better to shoot a boat shoe then on an actual sailboat?). Plus, we actually got to meet some of the boat builders who crafted our ship the old fashioned way – how cool is that?

Be sure to check out the results of our trip!  Our MV photos are all at womens.timberland.com

Wanted: New Hampshire Earth Day Projects

New Hampshire area readers: Timberland is now accepting proposals for Earth Day service projects for our NH-based employees.  We love our local communities, we love the outdoors, and we’re looking for regreening projects that will allow us to bring those two passions together and make them both better.

In simpler terms, a “regreening project” is creating or improving outdoor spaces so more people can enjoy them.  In past years, we’ve worked on public greenways and trail systems, cleaned up community gardens, playgrounds and parks, and expanded outdoor learning spaces for camps and schools.

To learn more about the kinds of projects we’re looking for and to submit your own idea, click here to download the RFP for Timberland’s 2013 Earth Day projects.  The deadline for submissions is February 1.

Embracing the ‘Makers Movement’: Matthew Miller x Timberland

In the next few years, every person will be able to interact and have a conscious choice on colour and the way that a garment is constructed and finished. In a true sense Timberland are pioneers in the new movement, the biggest of our generation: “The makers movement.”

- Matthew Miller

This season, Matthew Miller has partnered with Timberland to design the footwear for his show at LONDON COLLECTIONS: MEN. Using our Design Your Own online tool (US version here and UK version here), the breakthrough menswear designer created four unique styles which mirror the themes of his Autumn/Winter 2013 collection.

Miller picked from the hundreds of leather bases, laces, rivets and soles available on Timberland.com to adapt the classic boot to sit alongside his collection.  See the finished products and hear more about the collaboration from the designer himself:

Transforming Wasteland to Wonderful Garden in China

Our supplier sustainability team shared the following update from Zhu Hai Lian Feng, a knitwear factory located in Zhuhai, Guangdong, China. Zhu Hai Lian Feng has been a Timberland partner since 2008.

Two years ago, factory management decided to create an eco-garden in the barren land surrounding the factory.  After 6 months of hard work, their vision was realized, and a beautiful, relaxing and bountiful garden was completed.

The Zhu Hai Lian Feng eco-garden is home to many fruits and vegetables, including papaw, dragon fruit, leechee, mangoes, tomatoes and lettuce.  The garden is harvested by factory employees, and the fruits and vegetables go directly to the factory’s canteen.  There’s nothing better than fresh fruits and vegetables grown on site!

Zhu Hai Lian Feng also constructed two pavilions in the eco-garden, which are frequently used by employees for parties, catching up with friends and simply relaxing.

To learn more about Timberland partners like Zhu Hai Lian Feng and how they’re working to improve their workplaces with projects like the eco-garden, please visit our Responsibility website.

Celebrating 20 Years of Service Around the World

Twenty years ago, Timberland created our Path of Service™ program—a monumental moment that marked the beginning of a rich tradition of service.

To celebrate the 20th Anniversary, we put our values into action at events around the world, thanks to our team of Global Stewards—passionate employees who volunteer above and beyond their regular job responsibilities to serve as ambassadors of corporate social responsibility. Here are some highlights of their efforts around the world:

  • Italy: Global Steward Francesca Vitale organized a two-day service trip for three teams of employees to Cinque Terre on Palmaria Island. Each team worked on different projects, including cleaning beaches, renovating benches along the paths, and repainting an old military fortress.
  • Japan: Global Steward Shiho Hirasawa’s team spread its celebration across the year, arranging monthly service events from May through November.
  • Taiwan: With the support of Global Steward Marty Shen, Taiwan launched a program that rewards consumers for engaging with Timberland in service—a concept that’s spread to other Timberland locations around the world.
  • USA: Near our Stratham, New Hampshire global headquarters, community engagement manager Brianne Wood coordinated more than 350 volunteers in this year’s Serv-a-Palooza in three locations. The team helped 25 non-profit organizations by constructing outdoor furniture, creating and restoring over three miles of trails, and knitting winter hats and mittens.

Our commitment to service doesn’t end with our employees. Over the years, our service events have grown to include vendors, distributors, supplier factories and consumers and community members.  We’re also fortunate that our new parent company, VF Corporation, supports Timberland’s values-driven brand and mission to equip people to make a difference in the communities where they live and work. We look forward to continuing to partner with VF to grow our commitment to service beyond our own corporate walls.

What is so powerful about our service program is the many ripples it creates. As we send people to service sites, their direct impact ripples out to other organizations and the people they serve. Our belief is that when each employee has a service experience, it helps them become more engaged in their own community and on their own time. We hope this year’s 20th anniversary has re-energized our army of service warriors to continue to grow Timberland’s level of service.