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A guide to sustainable clothing and shoe materials


A guide to sustainable clothing and shoe materials

In a world where refreshing your closet is as simple as “adding to basket,” sustainability can seem like an afterthought. If you are unable to feel the fabric of what you’re buying, how do you know if it’s sustainable? The answer is simple: check the product page before you add any product to your basket.

When it comes to environmental impact, the material is what matters most. It is absolutely essential that we all work to buy more sustainable clothing and leather goods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and carbon dioxide levels.

As a collective, we must all strive to trade fast fashion in favour of the sustainable side of the fashion industry. But, what components actually go into sustainable clothing and shoes? How do you shop sustainably for a better planet? The answer is simple: invest in Timberland today.

Let’s get granular about high-quality, sustainable fabrics, vegan leather, and the lifecycle of eco-friendly production processes with Timberland.

Timberland eco-friendly

What are renewable materials?

Here at Timberland, we are guided by a higher purpose when it comes to sustainable materials. If you ask us, a greener future is a better future. From sustainable shoes to clothes made of manmade and natural materials, responsibly sourced products are an essential element to bringing this purpose to life. 

For instance, According to our 2019 CSR report, we have produced 97% PVC footwear. We also engineer our Original Earthkeepers leather boots with recycled PET & rubber materials. 

Plus, men’s and women’s leather boots such as the Timberland 6 Inch Boot are built to last and sustainable to the core. They are made with premium Nubuck Better Leather™  from a sustainable tannery rated Silver for its energy, water, and waste management practices. This means they are made in plants with ethical working conditions and free of toxic chemicals. 

Let’s explore the top six renewable materials that Timberland has built from the ground up: 

Related content: Buy Ethical, Wear Ethical, and Be Ethical

1. Greenstride™

Our GreenStride™ collection of recycled shoes represents the pinnacle of nature innovation. Greenstride™ is a new foam that is perhaps one of the most eco-conscious yet comfortable experiences that we have ever invented. Greenstride™ comfort soles cushion the space between feet and the soles of your shoes.  

The rubber used to make our soles is sourced from rubber plants that showcase responsible land management practices. Combine that with sugar cane as a renewable resource for making more responsible products, and you get the most sustainable shoes out there. From Chukka Boots to men’s leather boots, keep an eye out for Greenstride™ soles.

2. TrueCloud™

TrueCloud™ shoes are light for you and light on the planet and are made entirely with materials from nature. This eco-footwear is made with renewable eucalyptus, responsibly sourced wool, recycled cotton, and our signature Community Cotton™ fabrics. 

What makes TrueCloud™ shoes environmentally friendly? They are sustainable down to the seams. The linings are made from 70% renewable eucalyptus and 30% recycled cotton. Better yet, some iterations contain REBOTL™ fabric that is made of at least 50% recycled plastic bottles.  

Related content: Shop TrueCloud™ Shoes

TrueCloud Timberland shoes

3. ReBOTL™  Recycled Technology

Since 2009, the equivalent of 345 million plastic bottles have found new life in our products. The non-biodegradable plastic waste is collected, shredded, turned into yarns, and woven into fabric. We use this signature eco-conscious fabric to make shoes, boots, jackets, clothes bags and more. 

4. Recycled Leather

When it comes to sustainable leather, advanced knowledge of the leather industry is key. 96% of the leather we use is from tanneries rated Gold or Silver by the Leather Working Group according to the highest leatherworking standards

5. Regenerative Leather

We help spark nature’s power to regrow by sourcing from regenerative agriculture farms. Regenerative farming essentially mimics nature. Animals graze in their natural patterns, and we plant diverse crops that are engineered to replicate nature’s diversity. The land can then create healthy, hydrated soil by being allowed to rest for a moment. 

6. Organic Cotton

Our products include 77% sustainably sourced cotton. Unlike many of our competitors, we know exactly where our cotton comes from and who grew it. We use strong and durable cotton that is grown in partnership with local communities in Haiti. Our Community Cotton™ initiative creates a positive impact on the communities, their future, and the environment through a cooperative and responsible business model.  

Now that you know how to shop sustainable clothing and shoes, keep in mind that caring for your new products is also key. For instance, washing your clothes with cold water will extend the life cycle of your Timberland clothing. Plus, make sure you clean your ReBOTL™-lined Chelsea Boots with our signature Boot Sauce™ cleaner on a regular basis. 

Since our founding in 1952, we have long been committed to preserving the wider world we live in. CO2 emissions in the UK have fallen 29% in the past decade, and by shopping sustainably, we can help that number fall even further in the future. From enjoying a trip abroad or soaking up some rest with a staycation in your Timberland boots, let’s make sustainability fashionable. 

Whether you’re looking for a new pair of flip flops or desert boots or are simply seeking a bit of inspiration, we hope you take this advice to heart. Join us on the path to a purposeful profit in serious style today.