Stratham, New Hampshire-based outdoor apparel and equipment company Timberland has announced a new partnership with The Savory Insititute as part of its efforts to help build a regenerative leather supply chain for the apparel and footwear industry.
VF Corp-owned Timberland’s strategy currently involves identifying, aggregating, and connecting early-adopter regenerative ranches with its large-scale tannery partners.
The Savory Institute is a non-profit working to promote the large-scale regeneration of the world’s grasslands. The organization joins Timberland’s other recently announced partner in its regenerative leather initiative, Other Half Processing, which sources hides from Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed regenerative ranches.
Through the new partnership, Timberland has become a charitable supporter of The Savory Institute and a member of its Land to Market Frontier Founder corporate advisory program. The company will also co-fund the Institute’s Ecological Outcome Verification (EOV) process for Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed ranches.
The EOV process seeks to measure the tangible benefits of regenerative herding on the land and also provides valuable feedback data for famers, who can modify their practices in line with the information provided.
Regenerative grazing practices mimic the natural movement of herd animals, giving grasses time to rest and regrow. Ranches that use these techniques therefore not only provide better food for their cattle, but also improve soil health, support biodiversity and make the land more productive, as well as more resilient to both drought and heavy rain.
“The regenerative movement has largely been focused on the food industry to date, but we at Savory Institute believe there is an opportunity to simultaneously synergize with the apparel industry and open up unparalleled successes for the planet,” said Chris Kerston, chief commercial officer for the Land to Market program at Savory, in a release.
“The fashion industry has a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions, and we believe it’s all of our responsibility to be a part of the solution,” added Timberland’s director of sustainability, Colleen Vien. “Regenerative agriculture presents a powerful opportunity to go beyond simply minimizing our impact, to actually create value and have a net positive effect for the land and the farmers.”
Other initiatives introduced by Timberland to support the development of a regenerative leather supply chain include the launch of a boot collection made from leather sourced from Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed ranches, slated for fall 2020.
The company’s wider support of environmental issues has involved the release of its Earthkeepers boot in 2007, as well as the commitment it made in 2019 to plant 50 million trees over the next five years.