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courtesy of TGI; Regenrative rubber farmer in Thailand

Timberland plans to build the first regenerative rubber supply system

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

Apr 27, 2021

Timberland is continuing to expand its regenerative leather offerings with plans to build the world’s first regenerative rubber supply system for the footwear industry in partnership with Terra Genesis International (TGI).

Working alongside its parent company VF Corporation and sister brands Vans and The North Face with TGI, the new regenerative rubber supply system will be developed in Thailand, with Timberland hoping to pilot its first Regenerative Rubber footwear in 2023.

The scheme will utilise local indigenous knowledge, where regenerative rubber farming incorporates multiple tree species to mimic a natural forest ecosystem. This revitalises biodiversity and enhances ecosystem services such as soil health, water cycling, carbon sequestration and the creation of favourable microclimates.

This approach, explains Timberland also provides a diversity of yields that farmers can rely on for multiple streams of income, leading to increased resiliency and long-lasting positive impacts for the community.

Timberland and VF added that they will also be supporting “train the trainer” programmes to help to scale local indigenous knowledge and transition more plantations to regenerative systems.

Zack Angelini, senior manager of environmental stewardship for Timberland, said in a statement: “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.

“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.”

Timberland partners with Terra Genesis International to expand regenerative leather offerings

The move is part of Timberland’s vision for a greener future, and it has set itself a goal to ensure that 100 percent of its natural materials are sourced from regenerative agriculture by 2030.

courtesy of Timberland

The footwear brand also added that the new regenerative rubber supply system will “eventually be open to brands across and outside the industry,” to significantly scale regenerative sourcing of rubber.

Luke Smith, chief executive of TGI, added: “We are grateful that, through our partnership with Timberland and VF Corporation, we can move this vital regenerative process forward.

“While the transformation from rubber monocultures to regenerative farming on one farm is impressive, as the shift spreads wider, it is likely to have significant social, ecological and economic impacts in Thailand.”

Timberland launches campaign to educate consumers on regenerative agriculture

Timberland is also looking to inspire and educate the next generation about regenerative agriculture with initiatives using experts and creators, such as farmers, ranchers and soil advocates on its social media platforms - TikTok, Instagram and Clubhouse.

Drieke Leenknegt, global vice president of marketing for Timberland, added: “As a consumer-led brand with a vision to build an equitable and green future, Timberland is perfectly placed to translate the concept and benefits of regenerative agriculture to the next generation.

“Transmedia storytelling allows us to translate the ins and outs of regenerative practices in unique and different ways. Through TikTok, we can partner with creators to bring the concept to life in a quick and approachable way.

“For our Clubhouse activation, we’re partnering with superhost Swan Sit to host a series of rooms to delve deeper into the topic. By educating the next generation, and raising awareness and excitement around the power of regeneration, we can continue, together, to move the world forward.”