Innovation That Matters

Upcycled clothing

Boots and bags made from recycled plastic provide Haitian jobs


Timberland partnered with sustainable fabric company Thread to create boots and bags from recycled plastic bottles collected by Haiti-based workers.

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Pittsburgh-based Thread transforms trash into responsible fabrics, providing jobs in some of the poorest communities around the world. Timberland recently completed its five year pledge to plant five million trees in Haiti. So the recent collaboration between the two brands is bringing to market an iconic product with true social impact.

The Timberland bags and boots will be available in stores from Spring 2017. Each piece in the collection will be 50 percent recycled plastic bottles. The bottles are collected from the streets of Haiti and Honduras by teams employed by Thread. Thread tracks every stage of its fabric production, from initial litter picking to final shipping in the United States. This collaboration is the pilot for future expansion into other countries.

Fashion’s complex production processes are slowly increasing in sustainability, but much still needs to be done. Companies working with new fabrics include this denim that uses wood pulp instead of cotton and this clothing line that uses recycled ocean plastic. How could the use of trash in sustainable fashion be scaled up?



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