Timberland launches apparel, footwear and accessories redemption scheme

VF-Corp-owned brand Timberland this week launched its first product take-back plan, called Timberloop, as it works to achieve a fully circular vision by 2030.

Photo: Timberland

Under the scheme, customers are invited to return worn Timberland shoes, clothing, bags and other accessories to stores, or to use a prepaid returns service to send items to the brand by mail.

Then the clothes are sent for quality checking. If used lightly, it will be sent for repair and resale. If it is deemed beyond repair, it will be disassembled into parts and then recycled.

To stimulate uptake, Timberland will give customers who use Timberloop a 10% discount voucher to use on their next purchase. While the model has proven popular with fashion brands, including H&M and Marks and Spencer in the UK, it has been criticized by some sustainability thought leaders as a way to encourage people to over-consume.

Timberloop was launched primarily in the United States – the brand’s largest market. The first stores to offer redemption are in Grand Island and Hasting, Nebraska. Customers across the United States will be able to use the mail option.

“Timberland products are truly designed to be durable and long-lasting, and I love the idea of ​​extending that even further with a second life outside of landfill,” said Susie Mulder, the company’s global brand president.

“With a growing awareness of environmental issues and personal consumption choices, I believe our community will be just as excited about Timberloop as we are. This is a huge step as we work to realize our vision of a more equitable and green future.”

Timberland has been particularly committed to ensuring that it has a net positive impact on nature within a decade, and ensuring that all products and services are designed to popularize the principles of economics in the same time frame.

as good as a shoe

The fashion industry is one of the most wasteful in the world. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates that globally every second Ben Laurie’s truck of textiles is wasted, in large part due to the massive increase in production in recent decades and a lack of commercially available recycling. According to the foundation, only 2% of the costumes produced each year will be recycled in a closed-loop method that avoids down-recycling.

The good news is that resale and refurbishment models are becoming increasingly popular among brands. Apart from Timberland, new announcements from the likes of Nike, VivoBarefoot, Farfetch and Selfridges have come out recently. The global fashion resale market is set to grow to $64 billion by 2024, which is expanding 1.5 times faster than the rapid fashion segment.

Just this week, the multinational NGO WWF announced a new partnership with online used fashion market Thrift+. WWF encourages supporters to sort their wardrobe and send unwanted items for free to Thrift+. The platform takes a portion of the money generated by selling clothes to pay for its operations and employees, then gives users options to either give all the remaining proceeds to charity or take a portion of it as profits for themselves.

Sarah George

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