Footwear and fashion brand Timberland has launched a product take-back programme, as part of its efforts to be a more circular business.
Starting in the US in August, the initiative is expected to be rolled out to the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) market by the end of 2021. As part of the move, consumers will be able to return any Timberland footwear, apparel or accessories to a Timberland store, for repair or refurbishment, or for sale on a dedicated re-commerce platform.
The items may also be upcycled/recycled into future products. Timberland said it will introduce a digital, ship-from-home option later this summer to make it convenient for consumers who prefer to send back items in the post.
Developed in partnership with global innovation company, ReCircled, the take-back programme supports Timberland’s commitment announced last autumn for its products to have a net positive impact on nature by 2030.
Following the US launch and subsequent EMEA roll-out, Timberland expects the take-back programme to land in the Asia-Pacific region in spring 2022.
Susie Mulder, global brand president for Timberland, said: “This take-back programme 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.
“Timberland always builds our products for longevity. Now those products will have a second life, whether they are refurbished for re-sale, or disassembled and recycled into something new.”
The ReCircled facility can take apart returned products, putting each part of a shoe, for example, into its own unique recycling stream.
Chris McGrath, vice president of global footwear design for Timberland, said working with ReCircled means “we now have the mechanism in place to close the loop”, meaning materials the company puts out into the world can avoid ending up in waste if disposed of responsibly by consumers.
ReCircled was founded in 2019, aiming to help fashion brands find ways to reuse footwear and apparel. It has facilities in Nebraska, and Prato, Italy.