Timberland Launches Global Product Take-Back Program
Timberland has announced a critical next step on its path to circularity with the upcoming launch of a global product take-back program. Developed in partnership with global innovation company ReCircled, the take-back program provides the infrastructure needed to fuel Timberland's circular design and development cycle. It also supports the brand's vision, announced last fall, for its products to have a net positive impact on nature by 2030, through a commitment to regenerative agriculture and circular design.
Beginning this August in the U.S., consumers will be able to return any Timberland footwear, apparel or accessories to a Timberland store, to either be repaired/refurbished for sale on a dedicated re-commerce platform, or upcycled/recycled into future products. The brand will introduce a digital, ship-from-home option later in the summer, making it even easier for consumers to participate. Following the U.S. launch, the program is slated to expand to EMEA later this fall, and to the APAC region in spring 2022.
Total Retail's Take: Brands such as Timberland are doubling-down on sustainability initiatives for a number of reasons, including the overall benefit to society as well as potential business value ramifications. Regarding the latter, consumers are increasingly making purchases from retailers and brands that share their common values, including a commitment to sustainability. According to 5W Public Relations’ 2020 Consumer Culture Report, 71 percent of consumers prefer buying from brands that align to their values. And of importance to brands and retailers targeting younger demographics, as Timberland is, that number jumps to 83 percent for millennials. This is not meant to speculate that Timberland isn't committed to improving the environment and being a more sustainable organization; its actions suggest otherwise. It's merely pointing out that there's a real potential business value in investing in social causes, such as sustainability, that your target customers care about.