Responsible sourcing is a major area of focus for Timberland and our parent company VF Corporation, in terms of environmental stewardship, fair labor practices, and the ethical treatment of animals. This holds true for all materials used in Timberland® products, from the leather in our footwear to the wool in our outerwear.
Our parent company, VF Corporation, likewise shares our concern regarding the ethical treatment of animals and has a company‐wide Animal Derived Materials Policy. Their full policy can be accessed at https://sustainability.vfc.com/resources/policies-standards.
Here’s a snapshot of our practices relative to the animal‐derived materials used in our products:
At Timberland, we source the majority of our hides from U.S. cattle that are raised for food and processed according to USDA guidelines. Additionally, we have banned the sourcing of hides from certain countries or regions where we have learned of animal husbandry concerns. Timberland works with the Leather Working Group on improving hide traceability. Through individual agreements from our suppliers and improved traceability audits through our Leather Working Group assessment, we are improving our capabilities to ensure our hides are sourced from acceptable locations.
Timberland requires certificates of origin for any wool used in our product since wool sourced from Australia and New Zealand has the potential to be from mulesed sheep. Mulesing is a known practice in these countries to combat the infection caused by a particular fly, called the blowfly. Timberland requires independent certification that all wool sourced from Australia and New Zealand is non‐ mulesed.
Timberland’s down and feathers suppliers are certified by the International Down and Feather Testing Laboratory (IDFL) to not use any live plucked down. In addition to assuring no live plucked down has entered our supply chain, IDFL also certifies the content and quality of our down as well as the physical characteristics of the material. More information can be found on the IDFL website at http://www.idfl.com.
Together with our parent company VF Corporation, we are also working with the Outdoor Industry Association’s Materials Traceability Working Group to implement the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) to ensure that we are not sourcing feathers from live‐plucked animals.
Timberland does not sell products made from wild or domestic animals which were killed only for their hides. Animal fur, including Angora rabbit wool, is strictly prohibited by Timberland and VF Corporation. Fleece, sheepskin and shearling are considered hides with hair attached that are converted to leather and are therefore not included in the definition of prohibited fur. We use a limited amount of these materials in our product, and as with leather, our sourcing of these materials is allowed only from sheep raised primarily for food.
Timberland’s policies and practices related to animal welfare can be found here: http://responsibility.timberland.com/