Timberland’s partnership with Omni United will create co-branded automotive tires specifically designed to be recycled into footwear outsoles when their road journey is complete.
According to a joint press announcement, Timberland and Omni United first conceived this partnership three years ago, when sustainability leaders from both brands came together to address a longstanding shared concern. The tire and footwear industries are two of the largest users of virgin rubber. The majority of tires on the market today have a limited life span; ecologically-sound disposal at the end of that life span presents yet another challenge.
In a statement, Stewart Whitney, president of Timberland said, “Our partnership with Omni United marks a new day for the tire and footwear industries. An outdoor lifestyle brand and an automotive industry leader may, at first blush, seem unlikely partners – yet our shared values have given birth to tires that express a lifestyle, deliver performance and safety, and prove that sustainability can be so much more than a theory. It’s this kind of cross-industry collaboration that’s fueling real change and innovation in the marketplace.”
G.S. Sareen, president and CEO of Omni United said, “Omni United and Timberland are taking an entirely different view of sustainability by designing Timberland Tires for a second life from the outset. That is one of the reasons why establishing a take-back and recycling program before the first tire is sold – and choosing an appropriate rubber formulation for recycling the tires into footwear – is so critical. Our intent is to capture every worn Timberland Tire and recycle it for a second life, so none is used as fuel or ends up in a landfill.”
To bring the tire-to-shoe continuum to life, Timberland and Omni United have established an industry-first tire return/chain of custody process, to ensure the tires go directly to dedicated North American recycling facilities to begin their path toward a second life as part of a Timberland® product. Key steps include:
- Tire retailers will set aside used Timberland Tires for recycling after consumers purchase new tires to replace their worn out tires.
- Omni United is partnering with Liberty Tire Recycling and its network of tire collection and recycling firms to sort and segregate the Timberland Tires at the companies’ facilities.
- The used tires will be shipped to a North American tire recycling facility where they will be recycled into crumb rubber.
- The crumb rubber will be processed further into sheet rubber for shipment to Timberland outsole manufacturers.
- The rubber will be mixed into a Timberland-approved compound for outsoles that will ultimately be incorporated into Timberland® boots and shoes. This blended compound will meet the company’s exacting standards for quality and performance, as well as its stringent compliance standards.
Timberland Tires will be sold initially in the United States at leading national and regional tire retailers, as well as online through a state-of-the-art e-commerce platform.
For more information about Timberland Tires, visit www.timberlandtires.com.