by Stephen Garner

Timberland has announced the next step on its path to circularity with the upcoming launch of a global product take-back program. Developed in partnership with global innovation company ReCircled, the take-back program provides the robust infrastructure needed to fuel Timberland’s circular design and development cycle. It also supports the brand’s bold vision, announced last fall, for its products to have a net positive impact on nature by 2030, through a commitment to regenerative agriculture and circular design.

Beginning this August in the U.S., consumers will be able to return any Timberland footwear, apparel or accessories to a Timberland store, to either be repaired/refurbished for sale on a dedicated re-commerce platform, or upcycled/recycled into future products. The brand will introduce a digital, ship-from-home option later in the summer, making it even easier for consumers to participate. Following the U.S. launch, the program is slated to expand to EMEA later this fall, and to the APAC region in spring 2022.

“This take-back program is a critical step in pursuing our 100 percent circularity goal, while at the same time addressing the ever-increasing consumer demand for responsible design and progressive retail options,” said Susie Mulder, global brand president for Timberland. “Timberland always builds our products for longevity. Now those products will have a second life, whether they are refurbished for re-sale, or disassembled and recycled into something new. Either way, the consumer and product journey goes on, and we continue to move the world forward, together.”

Timberloop Trekker

Timberland also gave a sneak peek at its latest eco-innovation, the Timberloop Trekker — a new city hiker for spring 2022 that’s specifically designed for circularity. With sneaker-like comfort and a progressive outdoor look, the Timberloop Trekker has a unique sole construction whereby the outsoles can easily be removed at the ReCircled facility and each part put into its own unique recycling stream.

“We are incredibly excited to bring the Timberloop Trekkers to market next spring,” added Chris McGrath, vice president of global footwear design for Timberland. “Timberland has been using recycled materials in our footwear for years, but this design innovation puts us on the path to true circularity, where nothing goes to waste. And with ReCircled, we now have the mechanism in place to close the loop.”

In Timberland’s journey to have a net positive impact on nature by 2030, circularity will help the brand achieve zero waste/impact. Timberland aims to tip the scales past zero to net positive – actually helping to restore nature – by sourcing 100 percent of its natural materials through regenerative agriculture.