Timberland has recently released a new eco-friendly line of products in an environmentally conscious move that big fashion brands seem to be adding to. The new line includes footwear, backpacks and apparel, which are all made entirely of recycled plastic bottles that have been gathered from the streets and landfill sites in Haiti. The idea was made possible after Timberland teamed up with Thread International, which is a fabric company that is committed to social responsibility.
Ian Rosenberger, the founder and CEO of Thread, told Footwear News that the idea occurred to him during a trip to Haiti shortly after the earthquake in 2010. He was shocked by the amount of poverty, together with the amount of trash that is found in the area. Therefore, the idea was born out of connecting these two things – thereby turning waste into money.
After the idea was turned to reality, four different models of products were created, also including premium bags and clothing which are all available to purchase on the Timberland website. Margaret Morey-Reuner, director of strategic partnerships at Timberland, told Footwear News, “When you touch this material, you know it’s a premium canvas. The boots and bags are soft, yet durable. They sit proudly and beautifully.” The newly established partnership is now providing a positive solution to the world’s excessive plastic problem, as well as creating an additional job market for Haitians. According to Fast Company, over 1,300 people have collected more than 700,000 plastic bottles from the streets and canals of Haiti so far.
Timberland’s new line is following in the footsteps of other big fashion brands in recent years. In 2016, Adidas released their own line of footwear that was made entirely from recycled ocean plastic, in collaboration with Parlay for the oceans. In addition to this, recycled products are becoming increasingly common, with items such as sunglasses and wallets also being made from entirely recycled materials.
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