Posts Tagged ‘environmental impact’

We’re Dreaming of a ‘Green’ Christmas?

The last thing many of us consider when planning our holiday celebrations is the impact of those festivities on the environment … but a new survey commissioned by our Timberland team in the UK shows that eco-habits are far more engrained in British Christmas traditions than we might expect.

A surprising 100% of Brits surveyed say they do take steps to minimize their carbon footprint and help the environment during this festive season. These include replanting Christmas trees, buying organic ingredients for their Christmas day feast and wrapping gifts in recycled paper. Over 60% turn off their Christmas lights when they’re not at home, with 80% doing so to promote eco-values to their children.

And of course, holiday eco-consciousness starts at the top: 81% believe Father Christmas is the ultimate eco-hero for flying around the world on sustainable transportation.

At Timberland, protecting the environment is second nature to us. Because we make and sell gear for the outdoors, our business has a stake in seeing it thrive. We’re thrilled to see that Brits share the same passion and have made so many green behaviors part of their family Christmas.

Anabel Drese, European CSR Manager

What do you do to lighten the environmental impact of your holiday season? Tell us here.

Light, Lean, Sexy, Stylish: Hookset Handcrafted

The ask: Create a footwear collection that has unique Timberland DNA and is appropriate for spring and fall casual wear when you’re kicking it beachside with friends or lounging in the park. The answer: The Hookset Handcrafted Collection.

Ok, next question: What do you do when you learn that this collection is distinctively hand made, minimalist-inspired, stylish, fun and great for the environment? You can’t help but make a sexy stop-motion video to show the Hookset Handcrafted in all its glory.

Four materials expertly combined: 100% organic cotton canvas, genuine leather, 100% natural latex and aluminum. That’s it, that’s all. The Hookset Handcrafted Collection features minimal amounts of these materials, combined with a lean environmental impact in an extremely stylish package.

We asked filmer / photographer Spencer Higgins to bring his talents from the fashion and automobile world to Timberland. And the result? Oozing with cool, the Hookset Handcrafted. Four materials, expertly combined with our lowest Green Index score measured to date.*

Take a peek and see what we’re made of. Then learn more:

*Green Index score of 3.5 measured as of May 2012.

The Low-Down on Leather

When you think about eco-friendly materials, leather probably isn’t topping the list … and as an organization committed to reducing our environmental footprint and serving the needs of our consumers, leather presents a real challenge.  We get asked, “why leather?” often enough that we asked the question of our materials and supply chain experts, who had this to share:

Leather is a by-product of the food industry (meaning that cattle are a source of meat, first and foremost – leather is a secondary use).  So when we talk about the environmental impact associated with leather, we’re primarily talking about the tanning process (tanning is the process of preserving the leather so that it doesn’t break down over time).  Tanning is a necessary but resource-intensive process, and that makes leather the most environmentally-impactful material we use. Using a less durable material could mean less short-term environmental impact, but it could also mean that our products would need to be replaced more often, which poses additional environmental problems.

The durability of our footwear is due in large part to the quality leather we source and at present, there is no acceptable synthetic substitute for that quality leather.  We do make some shoes out of non-leather materials and there are high-performance synthetics available, but none currently that mimic the look, feel and durability of genuine leather well enough to satisfy many of our consumers.

Within the leather challenge, we do see opportunity: although no one tanning process is superior overall in reducing the environmental footprint of leather, we work closely with the tanneries we use to encourage sound management and continuous improvement in environmental performance, and several years ago helped to convene a cross-brand, cross-tanner working group (the Leather Working Group) to create a common, streamlined environmental assessment for tanneries for energy use, water quality and reduced waste.  The working group rates tanneries as non-compliant, compliant, Bronze, Silver or Gold; 98% of the leather that Timberland currently uses for our footwear (not including apparel and accessories) is from Silver or Gold-rated tanneries.

We believe that by engaging with like-minded companies and helping to influence improvements in the way it is processed, we can help create real, positive change in the leather industry.