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Going Green: Timberland’s Eco-conscious Footwear
by Karen Pecota

The Timberland footwear exhibit, “Timberland Retreat” lounge, placed itself strategically in the path of many festival attendees, just off Park City’s Main Street. Located in the hub of Sundance’s film festival activities and in front of the downtown Kimball Center, the confines of Timberland’s white-covered tent housed their new line of boot wear called the Earth Keepers Collection. A continual slide-show presentation of the process used to make their eco-friendly wares was on display and daily drawings for festival goers to win a pair of boots was the attraction. The making of their new environmentally friendly line of shoes portrays their involvement to save the planet and commitment to preserving the environment. I was able to snatch a quick interview with the staff and here is what they shared in response to my question as to the purpose of their presence at Sundance: “We are talking to consumers about the idea that one can create, produce and wear Eco-conscious shoes that are stylish and comfortable with a minimal effect/impact on the environment. Eco-conscious! A lot of times people look at products that are Eco-friendly and think, “Well, I’m glad it’s green but…” they are saying that they don’t look good enough to wear.”

I was shown the collection of boots and would have bought a pair right on the spot if available. I was impressed with the leather and was told that Timberland uses a silver-rated tannery process. The rated leather tanneries are known for their conservation of waste management and water resources among other environmentally acute aspects involving the manufacturing of leather and rubber. The Earth Keepers Collection uses leather and rubbers made of re-cycled tire cloth. Their tire cloth is collected from tires in land fills all around the world. In general, tanneries are not the most environmentally friendly workshops but the rated ones are known for taking steps to be more conscientious to do what they can to minimize pollution. Timberland began the Eco-friendly line in 2008 with only two styles. Today they produce a little over sixty styles to choose from for both men and women. The impact on the consumer at the festival was positive although many would have made a purchase if given the opportunity. Food for thought for the Sundance Festival in 2011!

The Timberland trademark is an official Sundance 2010 festival sponsor. In addition, they collaborated with the Sundance Film Festival branding and donated special-made winter jackets and boots to over 300 filmmakers, jury members and the Festival programmer teams, as well as over 2,000 pairs of gloves to the Festival volunteers who work hard to make the film event happen. Timberland also provided walking and transit maps promoting alternative modes of transportation to ease traffic congestion and smog emission. To learn more about the Timberland philosophy of product and marketing please go to: