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Timberland Launches Upcycling Program to Extend its Products’ Lifecycles

Timberland will launch ReCircled, a recycling and upcycling program that will fuel the retailer’s circular design and development cycle. The initiative is a major step in Timberland’s goal of having a net positive impact on nature by 2030, through reuse and promotion of regenerative farming practices.

Starting in August 2021, ReCircled will let U.S. customers return any Timberland footwear, apparel or accessory to a Timberland store to either be repaired or refurbished. The items will either be offered for sale on a dedicated recommerce platform or upcycled or recycled into other products. A ship-from-home option will launch later in the summer, and the overall program will expand to the EMEA region in fall 2021 and the APAC region in spring 2022.

Timberland also will introduce products specifically created with ReCircled in mind. The Timberloop Trekker, a city hiking shoe with outsoles designed to be removed at ReCircled facilities, is set for a spring 2022 launch. Each part of the Timberloop can be put into its own recycling stream.

Some of the other sustainability initiatives undertaken by Timberland include:

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• Sourcing leather from regenerative agricultural practices that give cattle grazing land a rest;

• Sourcing cotton from smallholder farmers using an agroforestry tree planting model that helps provide lasting benefits to the environment and communities where it grows; and

• Making soles with 75% renewable materials, including sugar cane and natural rubber from trees.

“This take-back program is a critical step in pursuing our 100% 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 in a statement. “Timberland always builds our products for longevity. Now those products will have a second life, whether they are refurbished for resale 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.”

Other retailers are also looking for ways to recycle and reuse old and unwanted products. FARFETCH and ThredUP recently partnered to bring a donation program to the U.S. that lets shoppers send apparel, shoes and accessories in exchange for shopping credit. At least 50% of the profits from sales of these items is donated to charity.

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