In a refreshing turn of events, Timberland, world famous maker of rugged footwear, from sandals to steel toed boots, has announced its Earthkeepers 2.0 line of shoes: a line that's striving to close the green loop by creating shoes with high levels of recycled content as well as an easily dismantled design thats meant to be broken down and recycled into new shoes when the time comes. This type of frank design is refreshing, as now more than ever, companies are scrambling to create marketing campaigns that tout their new, "green" products designed to save the world without requiring consumers to do anything but, well, keep consuming their products.
In many cases, companies are simply bringing ingredient/material exclusions and reuse processes to the forefront of packaging design and commercials, when in fact those ingredients and/or processes have been regulated by the government for years. When companies do actually make changes to reduce packaging or to include more recycled content in their product, the actual impact is so small that you wonder if they didn't purposely try to be just green enough to reap the benefits without making the sacrifices.
The Earthkeepers 2.0 line strives to achieve the deeper levels of environmental commitment that companies and products must not be afraid to go after with gusto: specifically, producing wares that close the recycling loop in a way that would make the Cradle to Cradle guys get all misty.
Purposefully designed to be disassembled to retrieve its raw materials and recycled, rather than discarded, at the end of their lives, the Earthkeepers 2.0 shoe collection "is made of 80-percent recyclable or reusable materials that represent a 15 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a 15 percent increase in the use of recycled or renewable content, compared to the traditional Earthkeepers boot" by Timberland (Environmental Leader).
Even the soles of the Earthkeepers 2.0 line are deeper green, featuring a new patented technology that de-vulcanizes waste tire rubber into a quality recycled rubber compound that can be used as a raw material. This technology is supplied by Green Rubber Inc., a Malaysian company whose partnership with Timberland was announced earlier this year.
But the company doesn't just leave you out in the woods with this warm, fuzzy feeling. It will actually be collecting Earthkeeper 2.0 boots and shoes for recycling at all Timberland store locations. That's one giant boot step in the right direction.