Global lifestyle brand Timberland recently announced a collaboration with tyre manufacturer and distributor Omni United, to create a co-branded line of tyres under the Timberland and Radar Tires brands.
Timberland Tires will be the first tires ever purposely designed to be recycled into footwear outsoles after their journey on the road is complete. The tyres were unveiled at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) automotive trade show in Las Vegas, setting new standards for sustainable innovation in the tire industry.
Timberland and Omni United first conceived this partnership three years ago, when sustainability leaders from both brands came together to address a long-standing shared concern. The tire and footwear industries are two of the largest users of virgin rubber. The majority of tyres on the market today have a limited life span; ecologically-sound disposal at the end of that life span presents yet another challenge.
As respected innovators in their fields, Timberland and Omni United envisioned – and are now bringing to life – a partnership whereby they are creating a more sustainable lifecycle for rubber.
“Our partnership with Omni United marks a new day for the tyre and footwear industries,” said Stewart Whitney, president of Timberland. “An outdoor lifestyle brand and an automotive industry leader may, at first blush, seem unlikely partners – yet our shared values have given birth to tyres 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.”
“Timberland Tires is the first tire brand to embrace a holistic approach, rather than a more traditional approach based on product attributes alone,” said G.S. Sareen, president and CEO of Omni United. “Given the strength of the Timberland brand, and our target consumer’s appreciation for sustainability, we see a huge opportunity to change the way people choose their tyres. With Timberland Tires, drivers can be confident that their tyres will perform, while also making a statement that expresses their lifestyle and values.”
Timberland Tires represent a new model in tire innovation: a sustainable, tyre-to-shoe lifecycle. Positioned at the premium end of the market, Timberland Tires are designed and created for superior performance and safety on the road. The tyres will be made in the U.S. (using both domestic and imported materials) and feature a rubber formulation that is appropriate for the recycling of the tyres at the end of their useful life into Timberland shoes, rather than alternatives such as being used for tyre-derived fuel or ending up in landfills.
“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 tyre is sold – and choosing an appropriate rubber formulation for recycling the tyres into footwear – is so critical,” said Sareen. “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.”
The Timberland Tires product line provides market coverage in three categories. The Timberland CROSS tyre (for small SUVs and crossover vehicles) will be available in April 2015 in 21 sizes, expanding to 35 sizes by September 2015. The Timberland A/T tire (for trucks and large SUVs) will be available in July 2015 in 30 sizes, and the Timberland TOUR tire (for cars) will be launched in 2016 in at least 25 sizes. This will round out the Timberland Tires portfolio, giving it three distinct lines with 90+ sizes covering about 75% of the North American passenger vehicle market.
Timberland Tires will be sold initially in the United States at leading national and regional tyre retailers, as well as online through a state-of-the-art e-commerce platform.
With warranties targeting 50,000 to 80,000 miles depending on tire model, Timberland and Omni United anticipate that the first lot of returned Timberland Tires will be ready for recycling in late 2017. Until a critical mass of supply comes in, Timberland and Omni United are seeking alternative recycled rubber compounds for a special collection of Timberland boots with outsoles inspired by the treads on Timberland Tires. These boots are slated to launch in autumn 2016.
For more information about Timberland Tires, visit www.timberlandtires.com.