The Timberland X Thread Partnership

The Timberland X Thread Partnership

Leveraging the Strengths of Social Enterprises Through Innovative Business Relationships
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Thursday, June 29, 2017 - 9:00am

CAMPAIGN: Global Engagement Forum:Online

CONTENT: Article

The unbridled accumulation of single-use, post-consumer plastic bottles represents a social and environmental crisis affecting populations and landscapes the world over. While industrialized countries have evolved systems and customs that effectively displace this waste stream, the problem is glaringly evident in less-industrialized countries, ill-equipped to control the flow. Yet strategies to manage Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) plastic have led to surprising new markets. The social enterprise Thread makes polyester fabrics derived from used bottles sourced from some of the most affected communities, a model that creates jobs, incentivizes environmental decontamination, and builds awareness about the value in the waste stream.

In March 2017, global outdoor lifestyle brand Timberland launched a new product line that integrates Thread’s fabric as part of its goal to feature some level of recycled, organic, or renewable content in 100 percent of its products by 2020. Proliferating and scaling such business partnerships holds great potential. Our CEO, Deirdre White, had the opportunity to moderate a Timberland-Thread discussion in a session at the Ethical Corporation Responsible Business Summit NY entitled “Partnership X Factor.” The audience heard from Thread CEO, Ian Rosenberger, and Timberland’s Director for Strategic Partnerships and Business Development, Margaret Morey-Reuner, and determined that this partnership does have the “X Factor.” Following the Summit, Ian and Margaret shared more of their unique perspectives on the partnership and their learnings.

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