You can’t make good shoes without good-quality leather. And that has long posed an ethical issue for Timberland. Namely, as an environmentally progressive firm, what can we do to reduce the environmental impacts required by the tanning process?
Ten years ago, Timberland and a number of other brands formed a coalition called the Leather Working Group (LWG), an organization with the objective of developing and maintaining a protocol that assesses the compliance and environmental performance of tanners, and promoting sustainable and appropriate environmental business practices within the leather industry.
Since then, tanneries have also seen improvements in air emissions, water effluent quality, waste, and restricted substance handling.
Now, Timberland strives to only use leather that comes from silver or gold-rated tanneries.