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Gina-Marie Cheeseman headshot

Timberland Gives Tire Retreads Second Life as Shoes


Old, worn out tires will get a new life through a partnership between two companies: Outdoor clothing manufacturer Timberland and tire manufacturer Omni United recently announced their collaboration to create a line of tires. Called Timberland Tires, they will be the first tires ever designed to be recycled into Timberland boots and shoes when the tire treads are worn out. The tires were unveiled at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) automotive trade show in Las Vegas.

Timberland Tires are something new on the market: They will have a tire-to-shoe lifecycle. They will be American made. Used tires will be set aside by retailers after consumers purchase new ones. Liberty Tire Recycling will collect the worn out Timberland Tires and ship them to a North American recycling plant. There they will be recycled into crumb rubber which will be processed into sheet rubber that will be shipped to Timberland outsole manufacturers.

"Our partnership with Omni United marks a new day for the tire and footwear industries," said Stewart Whitney, president of Timberland.

"Given the strength of the Timberland brand, and our target consumer's appreciation for sustainability, we see a huge opportunity to change the way people choose their tires,” said G.S. Sareen, president and CEO of Omni United. “With Timberland Tires, drivers can be confident that their tires will perform, while also making a statement that expresses their lifestyle and values."

Timberland parent company VF releases first ever corporate social responsibility report

Timberland is owned by VF, the owner of over 30 apparel and footwear brands, and a commitment to sustainability exists throughout the company. VF recently released its first corporate social responsibility report. The report highlights the company’s sustainability efforts, including environmental stewardship efforts. One of those efforts is reducing electricity use. Since 2009, VF reduced electricity use by 4.5 percent and natural gas use by 2.8 percent at its manufacturing sites. It achieved this reduction through the installation of efficient lighting and HVAC systems, lighting sensors, variable speed controllers and timers. It replaced older dryers with updated burner designs.

Green building is important to VF. The company has committed to pursuing certification by either the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or the Building Research Establishment’s Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM). Its new distribution center in Hackleburg, Alabama was certified LEED Gold this year. Distribution centers in Kunshan, China, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium, and Mexico City have either met or will meet LEED standards. VF has 12 LEED certified buildings and one BREEAM certified building.

Some of VF’s buildings feature renewable energy. Part of the power from its international headquarters in Stabio, Switzerland comes from solar photovoltaic (PV) panels which sit atop the roof. The company purchases the rest of the power needed from external renewable sources that include hydroelectric and wind turbines. Its Outdoor & Action Sports coalition headquarters in Alameda, California is powered 100 percent by renewable energy consisting of solar PV panels on the roof and parking cover panels and wind turbines.

Photo: Timberland Tires

Gina-Marie Cheeseman headshotGina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by Mashable.com.

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