Timberland has announced its plans to expand its regenerative leather offerings by building the world’s first regenerative rubber supply system for the footwear industry.
The footwear giant is partnering with Terra Genesis International (TGI) to bring the concept to life and will work alongside sister brands Vans and The North Face.
The regenerative rubber system is to be developed in Thailand with Timberland hoping to pilot the footwear in 2023.
The process will use local indigenous knowledge and practises involving a process where regenerative rubber farming incorporates different tree species to mimic a natural forest ecosystem, revitalising biodiversity and enhancing ecosystem services such as soil health and water cycling.
The plan also provides diversity of yields that give farmers multiple streams of income, providing a long-lasting positive community impact.
The footwear retailer and its parent company VF Corporation said they would be supporting “train the trainer” schemes to help increase and spread indigenous knowledge and hopefully transform more plantations to the more sustainable regenerative systems.
“At Timberland, we strive for a greener and more equitable future, and investing in regenerative agriculture is one of the most powerful levers we have to achieve this vision,” Timberland senior manager of environmental stewardship Zack Angelini said.
“We are excited about the progress we’re making to source our top volume materials in a way that supports the farmers and ranchers working to reverse environmental degradation and create a world that is more abundant, more resilient and even more beautiful than it is today.”