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Last week, Planet Experts attended the We First 4th Annual Brand Leadership Summit in Los Angeles. At the event, we had the opportunity to interview several of the event’s key speakers, including Colleen Vien, Sustainability Director at Timberland.

As Timberland’s Sustainability Director, Ms. Vien is in charge of ensuring ethical and sustainable sourcing “no matter where Timberland products are made” – no easy task when Timberland’s operations comprise over 300 suppliers in more than 35 countries. Ms. Vien also oversees the company’s involvement in such civil and environmental initiatives as the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, the Outdoor Industry Association, the Fair Factories Clearinghouse, Social Accountability International, and the Clinton Global Initiative.

In this video, Planet Experts founder and CEO David Booth Gardner interviews Ms. Vien on Timberland’s commitment to community service, implementing environmental management and improving workers’ quality of life.

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One Response

  1. TJ says:

    “Asking the question and taking the answer at face value isn’t enough.”

    That is one powerful statement. We tend to see the world through our Western eyes and forget how privileged those eyes are.

    Here’s the quandary though that faces many U.S. corporations. Timberland appears to have many hundreds of factories around the world and, from what I could gather, only source product from seven in the U.S. That decision is about one thing and that’s profit and it negatively impacts American workers.

    But the work they’re doing in their supply chain is uplifting those in other parts of the world. They don’t HAVE to do that and many corporations don’t. That can only be seen as a positive.

    I’d be curious to learn about Timberland’s take on the TPP. While the majority of their manufacturing is in China and India, they also have a very large presence in Vietnam which is a TPP partner. Would having preexisting conditions for worker rights and environmental protections alleviate a cost for them and make them more likely to move manufacturing to TPP partner countries? Or are the elements in place via NGO’s and other organizations in China and India sufficient?

    This was an EXCELLENT interview about a hugely important topic. And hat’s off to Timberland for, at the very least, acknowledging the conditions for worldwide workers as well as the environment, and stepping up to do their part.

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