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Timberland Joining the List of Brands Taking Back Used Clothing and Shoes

Timberland's return policy encourages customers to return the brand's apparel and footwear so the goods can find a new life - reducing waste in the process.
By Leon Kaye

A Timberland storefront in Queens, NYC

Timberland has announced that its product take-back program is now a policy that spans across the entire U.S. The company encourages customers across the U.S. to return their Timberland-branded apparel, footwear or accessories so these goods can find a new life – and reduce waste going to landfill in the process.

The company says some products will be refurbished and sold on a resale site later in 2022. Other used products will be disassembled, with some parts be reused; others will become upcycled or recycled. The program will include markets in Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region later this year.

As a financial sweetener to encourage the brand’s customers to participate in this circularity program, customers who participate in the Timberloop plan will score 10 percent off their next purchase.

This literal reboot of Timberland products falls on the heels of other outdoor retailers that are nudging closer to the circular economy. In 2019, for example, the popular retailer REI expanded its popular “garage sale” program online, using Yerdle as the backbone of its used gear website. The site showcasing used products appears to be a natural extension of REI’s retail site; users can use any gift cards they scored during the holidays to buy “pre-owned” tents, clothing and other outdoor gear.

Meanwhile, Patagonia has long urged its customers to repair and recycle garments instead of simply tossing them aside and buying a brand new replacement.

In addition, the social enterprise Soles4Souls along with brands like Thousand Fell have run programs that encourage consumers to recycle their unwanted shoes, apparel, gear or all of the above.

As for Timberland, the company is no stranger to the circularity movement, as the brand keeps rolling out new product lines that focus on incorporating more recycled content. The company has also furthered its investments in regenerative agriculture while striving to ensure social impact can occur across its global supply chain in nations such as Haiti.

“Timberland products are already designed to be durable and long-lasting, and I love the idea of extending that even further with a second life outside the landfill,” said Susie Mulder, global brand president for Timberland, in a public statement. “With the growing awareness of environmental issues and personal consumption choices, I believe our community will be as excited about the Timberloop program as we are. This is a huge step as we work toward our vision of a more equitable and green future.”

Image credit: Timberland

Leon Kaye headshot

Leon Kaye has written for 3p since 2010 and become executive editor in 2018. His previous work includes writing for the Guardian as well as other online and print publications. In addition, he's worked in sales executive roles within technology and financial research companies, as well as for a public relations firm, for which he consulted with one of the globe’s leading sustainability initiatives. Currently living in Central California, he’s traveled to 70-plus countries and has lived and worked in South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.

Leon’s an alum of Fresno State, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the University of Southern California's Marshall Business School. He enjoys traveling abroad as well as exploring California’s Central Coast and the Sierra Nevadas.

Read more stories by Leon Kaye