This shoe brand wants your old shoes

Another company that will soon pick up your unwanted old shoes is Timberland shoe brand. Just like other fashion brands that are happy to take back used clothing, Timberland will be accepting all of its shoes, clothing or accessories in any of its retail stores starting in August.

The future of these products will be a resale platform or will be reused in new products. It’s part of a growing trend where brands are trying to create a certain sense of circularity in an otherwise linear market.

The shoe giant has set a target of 2030 to have a new positive impact on nature, which would mean the company gives more than it takes. Although Timberland has already started using recycled materials and promoting more regenerative agriculture, they are thinking more closely about the end of life of its products.

One of the biggest challenges is breaking down a single garment or shoe into its different materials and then separating them accordingly so that they can be reused. Most products are sewn or tied in a way that makes it difficult to do: there may be too many components, or recyclable components with non-recyclable components. Recycling therefore becomes messy, complicated and expensive. All this then inhibits our ability to recycle these products or reuse raw materials.

Timberland has a new shoe, the Timberloop Trekker, which it hopes will solve this problem. The company says the Trekker’s outsoles, which are slated to launch early next year, can be removed as a single piece and then recycled, as the shoe was designed with circularity in mind from the start.

“We are extremely excited to bring the Timberloop ™ Trekkers to market next spring,” said Chris McGrath, vice president of global footwear design for Timberland. “Timberland has used recycled materials in their shoes for years, but this design innovation puts us on the path to true circularity, where nothing is lost. And with ReCircled, we now have the mechanism in place to come full circle. “

Both projects – the Trekker sole take-back and recycling program – will be done in partnership with ReCircled, a Denver-based company that is building the infrastructure for all of these circular programs and working with brands in the United States, Europe. , and Asia. Their first factory is based in Nebraska and plans to have another in Prato, Italy in the future. ReCircled is primarily able to supply the nuts and bolts backstage to Timberland to facilitate mechanical recycling and take-back programs.

While fashion may have started to use industrial waste, or manufacturing scraps, the recovery of post-consumer waste is complex and limited.

Timberland isn’t the only shoe company working on this issue. Swiss brand On Running also has a recyclable shoe in the works. Although their approach is different. They ask customers to take out an innovative shoe subscription with a down payment of $ 29.99. Thus, consumers never own the shoe itself. Rather, they can use it for as long as it takes, and when it starts to wear out, they send it back and it’s recycled. The idea is still in development and is expected to launch in fall 2021.

But it does indicate that the industry is starting to design with circularity in mind. And that in turn suggests that we may be able to recycle our shoes (and clothing) more efficiently in the future. Because they are finally designed to be reused.


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