Suppose you were to create the most environmentally sensitive shoe Timberland had ever made. You’d want the finished product to be high quality, crafted from eco-conscious materials and manufactured with as little energy as possible, right? That’s exactly the idea behind the Earthkeepers® Hookset Handcrafted collection, which Timberland introduced Spring 2012.
Our Earthkeepers® line is grounded in a philosophy of reducing our impact on the planet while making premium gear. To do that, we strive to incorporate organic and recycled materials into the design, seek to minimize environmental impacts in our manufacturing processes, and offer transparency in the form of our Green Index® rating, which lets you compare the impact of one pair of Timberland® footwear to another.
So, when Pete Lankford, Design Director for Earthkeepers and Timberland Boot Company, began thinking about a new Earthkeepers® collection, he wanted to create something that would exemplify the philosophy.
Four materials, expertly combined
“The Hookset Handcrafted collection is all about simplicity,” Lankford says. “We started with the question: ‘If we could only work with four materials, what would those be?’ We knew the materials would have to be things people were familiar with—things that they trusted. But we also knew they had to be attractive and durable.”
The four materials the team chose are:
- Organic cotton
- Natural rubber
- Leather pieces
Lankford notes that all of these materials are eco-conscious. Latex rubber, for example, is sourced right from the living tree, and organic cotton is grown without toxic fertilizers or pesticides. Even the leather represents clever repurposing: some of the leather details in the Hookset Handcrafted collection were sourced right from the cutting room floor—and all leather in the collection is LWG silver-rated. In fact, the footwear has proven so popular that the factory ran out of leather scraps and used non-scrap LWG silver-rated leather to fulfill some of the orders.
The Earthkeepers® Hookset collection is made by hand and dyed individually, honoring Timberland’s proud tradition of handcrafted footwear. Because the collection is handmade and requires less machinery to make, it’s cost-effective to produce. Additionally, using fewer materials and making shoes by hand reduces its environmental impact, allowing the collection to achieve an average score of 3.5 out of 10 on Timberland’s Green Index® scoring system—the lowest score in the history of the company.
“When we set out to create the Earthkeepers® collection, our goal was to produce footwear that’s every bit as premium as everything else we make, and made with less impact to the planet,” says Lankford. “The Hookset Handcrafted collection marks a major milestone—proving that quality, durability and craftsmanship can coexist with eco-sensitivity and create a remarkable shoe.”
Hear from Pete Lankford directly and learn more about the collection here.