Leatherbiz reports that outdoor lifestyle brand Timberland and Other Half Processing are partnering to build a leather supply chain sourced from ranches that employ regenerative practices. Through the pilot programme, Timberland will source traceable hides from regeneratively-grazed cattle in the US, to be used in select footwear and accessory collections planned for next autumn.
Regenerative grazing refers to managing cattle in a way that mimics the natural movement of herd animals, allowing for better rest and re-growth of grasses. This is hoped to result in better food for livestock and healthier soil, as grasses pull carbon from the atmosphere and store it in the ground. In theory, according Timberland, this makes the land more productive with greater resistance to both drought and heavy rain.
“At Timberland, we are committed not only to minimise the negative impacts of leather production, but to drive environmental benefits through our sourcing approach and ultimately develop a net positive fashion supply chain,” said Colleen Vien, director of sustainability at Timberland. “[We] hope to inspire others in the industry to move in this direction as well.”
This partnership builds upon Timberland’s previous efforts toward making products responsibly and helping to influence wide scale change. In 2005, Timberland co-founded the Leather Working Group, in an effort to minimise the negative environmental impacts associated with leather tanning.