Global outdoor lifestyle brand Timberland recently joined forces with its VF sister brand, Wrangler, to explore and promote good apparel solutions through sustainable agriculture at the Sustainable Brands ‘17 conference in Detroit. The conference theme, “Redefining the Good Life,” came to life throughout the week at the Activation Hub, an interactive expo where brands and attendees partnered to explore and define a more sustainable future for various sectors.
Timberland and Wrangler co-sponsored the Hub’s Good Apparel Pavilion, offering programs throughout the week together with NGO partners and facilitating discussions to explore and address the impacts of cotton, leather, and rubber, all primary inputs for their products. As leaders in responsible apparel, the brands share a longstanding commitment to sustainable materials and responsible sourcing practices.
“Sustainable Brands gathers a diverse range of businesses, large and small, that share a common aim to be more responsible,” said Colleen Vien, sustainability director for Timberland. “It was a powerful week convening thought leaders to discuss best practices and new potential solutions to scale positive contributions and minimize negative impact.”
At the Timberland/Wrangler Good Apparel Pavilion, presentations throughout the week discussed how sustainable agricultural practices can restore the vitality of soils, farming communities, and supply chains. World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Carbon Nation & Soil Carbon Cowboys, and Ducks Unlimited discussed how well-managed cattle grazing on grasslands offers potential solutions for soil health, animal health, human health, carbon sequestration, ground water and food nutrition. In addition, WWF presented its efforts to transform the global rubber market through sustainable agriculture practices, discussing opportunities for the apparel and footwear industries to support responsible rubber production.
The Soil Health Institute, Haiti’s Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA), and an Alabama cotton farmer presented their work to reduce cotton impacts through soil health practices. Such on-farm practices for holistic soil health improve water quality, increase drought resilience, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve farm economies, and provide pollinator habitats.
“Being a part of the Good Apparel Pavilion provided us with a unique opportunity to share with other brands our plans to re-introduce organic cotton growing into Haiti,” said Vien. “We are excited to pursue this second phase of our agroforestry work in Haiti and shift from being an SFA investor to being a customer. We had some great conversations with other brands that are also interested in developing new sustainable sources of organic cotton that also offer a rich social and environmental impact story.”
To learn more about Timberland’s commitment to responsibly made products and the Haiti Agroforestry initiative visit: https://www.timberland.com/responsibility.html.
KEYWORDS: Responsible Production & Consumption, Environment, Timberland, Wrangler, apparel solutions, Sustainable Brands ‘17 conference