Timberland Developing Regenerative Rubber
Following the worldwide celebration of Earth Day on April 22nd, Timberland announced that they have taken important steps in environmental protection. Following the overwhelmingly positive response to their regenerative agricultural efforts, Timberland has stated that they plan to have a net positive impact on the environment by as early as 2030. Not only have they developed Earthkeeper’s Eco products which contain regenerative leather, but they plan to expand to the development of regenerative rubber.
Timberland’s Efforts in Eco-Friendly Product Design So Far
It is no secret that Timberland has been actively seeking to produce more Eco-friendly footwear for some time now. With the target of 2030 in mind for a positive impact on nature, they have got a lot to get through. They have started their journey with the use of recycled materials and regenerative agriculture.
In 2007 Timberland released their first Earthkeepers boot, which is made using entirely recycled, renewable and organic materials. This was their first big leap into the world of eco-friendly shoe design. Following the release of their Earthkeepers range, Timberland later released their Solar Wave EK+range with GreenStride™ soles, which are made of 75% renewable materials and use regenerative leather in the design. They will also be releasing the Gridworks EK+ Timberland PRO boot line in the summer of 2021.
They have now announced that they want to take the regenerative material method one step further, by using it in the production of the rubber used for the soles of their shoes.
If you are wanting to see what else Timberland has done in its efforts to sustain our environment, you can find a list of its environmental commitments on its “our story” page. All of these achievements are listed under “Greener World”.
What Will Regenerative Rubber Mean For The Environment?
Timberland, its parent company VF Corporation, and its sister brands The North Face & Vans will be teaming up with Terra Genesis International in Thailand to produce regenerative rubber. This new material will be an absolutely first for the footwear industry, and could be revolutionary in the fight for more sustainable shoes and clothes.
How It’s Made?
Rubber is generally grown in a monoculture; the process often may involve exploitative labour practices and use of harmful chemicals. The process also causes degradation in biodiversity as it only uses a single type of tree. Monoculture rubber plantations are also substantial contributors to the devastation and deforestation of rain forests across Southeast Asia.
Regenerative rubber farming, is a complete contrast to typical rubber farming. This is because it incorporates multiple tree species, which helps to mimic a more natural forest ecosystem. This method helps to revitalise biodiversity as well as enhance the ecosystem. Systems within these environments, such as soil health, carbon sequestration, water cycling, and the creation of favourable microclimates benefit greatly from this method of rubber production.
Regenerative agriculture doesn’t only benefit the environment, however. Wildlife will be able to thrive in areas that would have previously been decimated, by the industry. Regenerative agriculture also provides farmers with multiple sources of income, which will aid the local economy.
What is Regenerative Agriculture?
Regenerative agriculture uses herd movement to encourage a healthier environment. This means that their herds are moves around their environment in a way that mimics the natural movement of a herd in the wild. By keeping a heard moving in this way it gives the grass in each area a chance to revive and thrive. The grass in these areas then works as a natural carbon filter. This means removing excess carbon from the air and depositing it into the soil. This type of regenerative agriculture also supports the farmers, who will be able to produce leather at a lower cost to themselves.