Thread transforms plastic bottles from the streets and canals of Haiti into “the most responsible fabric on the planet"

Thread transforms plastic bottles from the streets and canals of Haiti into “the most responsible fabric on the planet"

Outdoor lifestyle brand Timberland has unveiled a new sustainable collection in partnership with responsible fibre and fabric producer Thread International, which recycles plastic bottles from the streets and canals of Haiti, to make performance fabric.

The Timberland X Thread collection goes beyond environmental sustainability, creating social value and impact in the form of cleaner neighbourhoods and meaningful new job opportunities, says the VF Corp-owned company.

Made from Thread's durable Ground to Good fabric, the collection comprises five styles of men's footwear, two bags and one T-shirt.

"The Timberland X Thread collection is incredible proof that style and sustainability can go hand-in-hand," says Colleen Vien, director of sustainability for Timberland. "This collection delivers good with every fibre, not just by recycling plastic bottles that would otherwise end up littering the streets, but also by creating job opportunities and cleaner neighbourhoods in Haiti."

The process of going from "bottle to boot" begins in Haiti, where more than 1,300 locals collect the plastic bottles that are developed into Thread fabric. Each yard of fabric is traced and tracked at every step of its journey, from bottle collection and fabric creation to the delivery of the fabric bolt to the manufacturer.

The shoes and boots are crafted with durable uppers in Thread fabric made with 50% post-consumer recycled PET, a 50% recycled PET mesh lining, and a durable outsole made of 15% recycled rubber.

Meanwhile, the duffel bag and backpack are made with Thread fabric and waterproof leather trims, and the T-shirt with 50% Thread fabric and 50% reclaimed cotton from fabric scraps.

"At Thread, we believe that dignified jobs cure poverty – and our fabric creates those jobs," adds Ian Rosenberger, founder and CEO of Thread. "Our partnership with Timberland marks a seismic shift in the fashion industry, combining Timberland's large supply chain and loyal customer base with Thread's responsible, transparent approach to creating premium fabrics and vital jobs in the developing world. The Timberland X Thread collection is a major step towards improving the way our clothes are made."

The new products, available online and in Timberland stores, builds upon previous Thread collaborations. Last year, the companies partnered on a targeted effort to tackle environmental hazards and child labour in Haiti's global supply chains.

In partnership with HP, Team Tassy and ACOP (Association des Collecteurs des Objets en Plastique), the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action was launched, designed to help improve the working conditions and upward mobility of some 300 Haitians – 200 of them children – by providing educational opportunities, job training, and healthcare services.

Thread and Timberland tackle child labour in Haiti

Last week, Thread published an interactive version of its annual impact report outlining its achievements to date, and offering videos, animated statistics, and an interactive supply chain map.

Fabric maker Thread weaves new growth with Timberland