Timberland made boots from recycled litter in Haiti

Timberland X Thread boots are, like most Timberlands, sharp, stylish and resilient, but there’s something extra special about them.  

Timberland have been using recycling projects on the streets of Haiti in a bid to create industry, reduce waste and clean up.

Made in association with the Thread International charity, using their recycled Ground to Good™ fabric, the range includes the signature Timberland boots, jackets and chukkas (low rise trainers). The initiative has created almost 80 income opportunities as well as thousands in revenue for Haitians.

The process has also been an environmentally aware one, saving millions of gallons of water, as opposed to traditional manufacturing. To date, the scheme has removed almost a million plastic bottles from the streets of Haiti.

Haitian entrepreneurs like SevenetMirlande and Clenord live in some of the poorest neighborhoods in Haiti, but have been able to transform their lives because of plastics. Their plastics businesses have allowed them to earn an income, send their children to school, build homes, and even extend income opportunities to their neighbors. Sevenet now runs several plastic collection sites, and has been able to employ more than 200 Haitians, bettering his community, and ultimately helping to end the circle of poverty.

“At Timberland, we’re constantly seeking innovative ways to create both social and environmental value, and are excited to continue making a difference in Haiti and in all the communities where we live, work and explore,” said Colleen Vien, sustainability director for Timberland. “Our collaboration with Thread has proven to be a meaningful way for us to grow our work in Haiti and generate social value for the people behind our products. We’ve embraced the opportunity to share their unique stories with our consumers, because this collection is about so much more than a boot. A Timberland X Thread boot represents real change – it helps create jobs, restore communities and build futures.”

Additionally, Timberland have been working alongside the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) and the Clinton Global Initiative in Haiti. With a reforestation project and plans to develop a sustainable cotton industry using blockchain, the company has immersed itself in a place which many have forgotten.

Timberland’s senior manager Atlanta McIlwraith told Fast Company about their plans in a recent interview: “The promise of blockchain is that we can trace the purchase back to the farmer and the field. That not only increases the visibility of our supply chain but also enables us to share more robust stories with our consumers.” This process has also been explored by recent (Peter Gabriel funded) startup Provenance.

Colin J McCracken
Colin J McCracken

Director and Executive Editor

Colin J McCracken is an Irish editor and writer of both fiction and journalism. Coming from a background in education and film, his passions are split between the environmental and the entertaining. Constantly striving for a more sustainable existence and trying to balance it while simultaneously buying too many books.