Responsible sourcing is a major area of focus for Timberland and our parent company VF Corporation, in terms of environmental stewardship, fair labor practices, and the ethical treatment of animals. This holds true for all materials used in Timberland® products, from the leather in our footwear to the wool in our outerwear. Here’s a snapshot of our practices relative to various materials:
At Timberland, we source the majority of our hides from U.S. cattle that are raised for food and processed according to USDA guidelines. Additionally, we have banned the sourcing of hides from certain countries or regions where we have learned of animal husbandry concerns.
Timberland works with the Leather Working Group on improving hide traceability. Through individual agreements from our suppliers and improved traceability audits through our Leather Working Group assessment, we are improving our capabilities to ensure our hides are sourced from acceptable locations.
Timberland requires certificates of origin for any wool used in our product since wool sourced from Australia and New Zealand has the potential to be from mulesed sheep. Mulesing is a known practice in these countries to combat the infection caused by a particular fly, called the blowfly. Timberland does not source wool from Australia and requires non‐mulesing certification to accept wool from New Zealand.
“Due to its specific climate, the blowfly is mainly present in Australia and the low lands of New Zealand. These are also the main countries where most Merino sheep are bred. Other countries producing merino wool include Argentina and South Africa, where mulesing is not necessary as the flystrike is not present.” Source: Textile Exchange website, http://textileexchange.org/product/material‐summary‐non‐mulesed‐wool/
Timberland’s down and feathers suppliers are certified by the International Down and Feather Testing Laboratory (IDFL) to not use any live plucked down. In addition to assuring no live plucked down has entered our supply chain, IDFL also certified the content and quality of our down as well as the physical characteristics of the material. More information can be found on the IDFL website at http://www.idfl.com.
Together with our parent company VF Corporation, we are also working with the Outdoor Industry Association’s Materials Traceability Working Group to implement the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) to ensure that we are not sourcing feathers from live‐plucked animals.
Timberland does not sell products made from wild or domestic animals which were killed only for their pelts.
Shearling: While most of the shearling material found in our product comes from synthetic sources, we do sometimes use real wool shearling; in these instances, the shearling comes from sheep raised primarily for food.
Angora: Angora fur is not currently used in any Timberland footwear, apparel or accessories. If we wish to use Angora in the future, we will create a sourcing strategy to ensure the material adheres to our policy regarding the ethical treatment of animals.
Timberland’s policies and practices related to animal welfare can be found here: http://responsibility.timberland.com/