Timberland has partnered with Other Half Processing to build a responsible leather supply chain, which will be sourced from ranches that employ regenerative practices. In the project’s infancy, Timberland will source traceable hides from regeneratively-grazed American cattle to use for select footwear and accessory collections set for release in the autumn of 2020.
Farmers and ranchers who use regenerative grazing practices manage their cattle in a way that mimics the natural movement of herd animals. This allows more rest and re-growth of grasses, which can lead to better food for livestock and healthier soil. Theoretically, this makes the land more productive with greater resistance to both drought and heavy rain.
The new partnership will build upon Timberland’s longstanding commitment to make products responsibly and help influence change. In 2005, Timberland co-founded the Leather Working Group to minimise the negative impacts associated with leather tanning for not just its own production, but the industry as a whole.
“We are proud that our consumers will be able to buy products where the leather has been sourced in this way, and hope to inspire others in the industry to move in this direction as well,” Timberland sustainability director Colleen Vien said.
Timberland sources the majority of its hides from US cattle that are raised for food and processed according to USDA guidelines.
The retailer has banned the sourcing of hides from certain countries or regions where they have learned of animal husbandry concerns. Through individual agreements from suppliers and improved traceability audits, it is improving its capabilities to ensure hides are sourced from acceptable locations.
As part of its push to a greener future, Timberland also made a commitment to plant 50 million trees over the next five years.