It seems like big fashion brands are finally making steps in the right direction for the environment. Timberland recently released its new eco-friendly line of footwear, backpacks, and apparel made entirely of recycled plastic bottles gathered from the streets and landfills in Haiti. To make this new line possible, Timberland teamed up with Thread International, a fabric company that is committed to social responsibility.
Ian Rosenberger, the founder and CEO of Thread, told Footwear News the idea occurred to him during a trip to Haiti shortly after the 2010 earthquake. He was taken aback by the poverty and the amount of trash found there and so the idea of connecting those two things – through turning the waste into money – was born.
The great idea was turned into reality and Timberland is running a show collection with fabric made entirely from recycled waste. There are four different models, all available to purchase on the Timberland’s website. The collection also includes premium bags and clothing.
“When you touch this material, you know it’s a premium canvas,” Margaret Morey-Reuner, director of strategic partnerships at Timberland, told Footwear News. “The boots and bags are soft, yet durable. They sit proudly and beautifully.”
Not only is this partnership contributing to a positive solution to the world’s plastic problem, it’s also empowering Haitans by giving them jobs. According to Fast Company, over 1,300 people have collected more than 700,000 plastic bottles from the streets and canals of Haiti!
Timberland’s new line is not the first invention of the kind. In 2016, Adidas released its line of footwear made of recycled ocean plastic in collaboration with Parlay for the oceans. And new startups with wonderful eco-friendly goals are popping up everywhere, using recycled trash to make things like sunglasses or wallets. Is recycled plastic the new big fashion trend? Well, if it is, we are all for it!
Image source: Timberland