Hard work, innovation, and a love of the great outdoors are all big parts of the Timberland story. They have been since the very beginning.
It all started in 1952 when our founder, Nathan Swartz, bought a half-interest in the Abington Shoe Company. He worked his way up from an apprenticeship after immigrating to the United States and eventually bought out his partner and welcomed his sons into the business.
The Abington Shoe Company soon moved to Newmarket, New Hampshire, located in a tiny corner of New England known for its majestic mountain ranges, rocky shorelines, dense forests, rivers, lakes, and access to great east coast cities. This part of the world experiences every type of weather—blizzards, instant rainstorms, bitter winters, and summer heat waves.
Stepping outside in any kind of weather was a problem Timberland was born to solve.
In 1973 our original waterproof boots called the “Timberland” were invented. They were rugged, well-crafted, and—thanks to an innovative injection molding technique which was new to the footwear industry—they withstood the elements. These premium “yellow” boots set new standards for waterproof performance in the footwear industry. They became equally popular with outdoor enthusiasts who needed protection in all conditions, professional trade workers who needed rugged dependable gear, and many others who just wanted a great looking pair of boots. These boots defined our brand. They were so groundbreaking that in 1978 we renamed the entire company.
Timberland’s heritage of hard work, innovation, and love of nature continues. We are here to inspire and equip the world to step outside, work together and make it better. Today, we find the outdoors everywhere, from right outside our doors to places far beyond. We find it in cities, suburbs, and the countryside. It’s where we work, play and connect to one another. That’s why we are on a mission to make our brand and company a force for positive change. We are committed to making our world greener, our communities stronger, and our products better with less impact on the environment.
This mission is nothing new.
When we design a new boot, shoe, jacket, pair of glasses, or even a T-shirt, it not only has to look great, we need to consider its impact on nature. Ever since introducing our original waterproof boots, we’ve remained focused on making innovative products that get people outdoors, are made with environmentally-conscious materials, and crafted to last for years. We aim to not only minimize our impact on the environment through the products we make, but to actually help restore the land we depend on.
Our product innovations over the years:
1968: The Swartz family introduces injection-molding waterproof technology to the footwear industry, allowing us to create some of the first truly waterproof leather boots.
1973: We debut our original guaranteed waterproof boot called the Timberland.
1978: We introduce our first hand-sewn casual shoe featuring premium leathers and hand-stitched details.
1979: Our first boat shoe launches, bringing premium craftsmanship to people in summer weather.
1980: We take our products outside the United States for the first time, starting in Italy.
1988: We introduce Timberland® apparel.
1999: The Timberland PRO® Series launches, delivering performance and protection to skilled workers everywhere.
2005: Timberland co-founds the Leather Working Group (LWG), and makes a public commitment to only source leather from tanneries that achieve a silver/gold rating from LWG audits
2007: The original Earthkeepers® boot is introduced, made with recycled, organic, and renewable materials.
2013: The equivalent of 128 million plastic water bottles are recycled into our footwear, since 2009. By 2018, that number grows to over 345 million.
2018: We create ReBotl™ material for footwear and apparel which is made with recycled plastic.
2019: British fashion designer Christopher Raeburn is named Global Creative Director for Timberland, bringing with him a philosophy of REMADE, REDUCED, RECYCLED product creation.
We believe in the power of thriving communities to accelerate global change with one unified, passionate voice. And we support the skilled trades as a powerful way to build stronger communities through service. Every full-time Timberland employee gets up to 40 hours of paid time to volunteer in their communities. We’ve served more than 1.2 million hours worldwide, with a goal of reaching 1.5 million hours by 2020.
Our community service efforts over the years:
1989: Our first community service event is held with City Year, a national youth service group.
1992: We launch The Path of Service™ employee volunteer program through which employees can use up to 16 hours of paid time off to volunteer. In 1995, we expand the benefit to up to 40 paid hours.
1998: We hold our first annual company-wide Serv-a-palooza event. Every year, the entire company steps outside our offices and stores to volunteer in communities around the world.
2001: Timberland PRO partners with SkillsUSA to help promote the trades among young people across the U.S.
2014: We reach one million hours of global community service.
2017: Timberland becomes a CNCS (Corporation for National and Community Service) Employer of National Service, guaranteeing any verified alumni of the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps consideration for corporate job opportunities at the company.
2019: We sign the Generation T pledge to support future students and recent graduates of the skilled trades.
Trees and green urban spaces have the power to improve the quality of our planet and our individual well-being. They clean air, prevent erosion, save water, reduce stress and much more. Tree planting plays an important role in our commitment to the environment. We’ve planted millions of trees around the world, empowering thousands of smallholder farmers in the process. Since 2001, we’ve planted over 18 million trees worldwide in support of our vision for a greener future.
Our commitment to the environment over the years:
1993: We adopt the environmental ethics platform called Ceres. Ceres tackles the world’s biggest sustainability challenges, including climate change, water scarcity and pollution, and inequitable workplaces.
1997: We hold our first company-wide Earth Day employee volunteer event and haven’t missed a year since.
2001: Horqin Desert reforestation efforts begin. We partner with Japanese NGO Green Network to plant trees in China’s Horqin Desert to quell sandstorms and improve air quality for the entire region.
2006: Timberland launches Global Stewards program. Every year, 30 dedicated employees from around the world volunteer above and beyond their day jobs to lead our environmental and service agenda in their locations.
2010: Timberland partners with the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) to develop a sustainable agroforestry business model in Haiti through a network of tree nurseries. Five million trees are planted by 2015, while at the same time increasing the crop yields and livelihoods of thousands of smallholder farmers.
2015: In North America, we pledge to restore or create urban green spaces equivalent to the size of our retail stores within 5 cities in 5 years. We finish 2 years early and, in 2018, pledge to green another 500K square feet in U.S. cities by 2023.
2017: We again partner with SFA and leverage its agroforestry model to bring cotton farming back to Haiti for the first time in 30 years. The first commercial crops are harvested in 2019.
2018: Our ten millionth tree is planted, reaching our 2020 goal 2 years ahead of schedule.