In 1952, Nathan Swartz bought half of The Abington Shoe Company and three years later he bought the rest of the shares. Then in 1973, the company changed the name to The Timberland Company due to the popularity of their outdoors, waterproof yellow boots. The first international sale was to an Italian gentleman. He went directly to Sidney Swartz and asked to buy 600 pairs. Surprised but pleased, Sidney sold them to him and figured he’d never see him again. But two months later, the Italian was back – he’d sold all 600 pairs and wanted more. That’s how the Original Yellow Boot™ gained a foothold in Europe before going on to become the fashion icon it is today.
Sidney Swartz introduced The Original Yellow Boot™ to the world in 1973. The waterproof boot was created for hard-working New Englanders, but that didn’t stop its appeal from spreading worldwide. In Europe, it became the symbol of the “Made in the USA” look, in Asia, it became a statement of individuality, and in America, you were as likely to see it on a boat-builder in Massachusetts as a college student in California.
The company claims to be the first that started putting the brand name on the outside of the shoe which wasn’t the trend back then. Timberland products all either have just the logo of the company, or they have the logo and the word “Timberland” on them. The Timberland logo itself is a branchy tree on a field, and since Timberland means “land that is covered with trees and shrubs”, it is only fitting to have a tree as its logo. A sturdy-looking tree that perfectly matches a shoe made for the rugged terrain.
In the nineties, the humble yellow boot took off as a style icon when US hip-hop artists started wearing them, giving them massive street credit, unlaced and perfectly matched to their style and larger-than-life attitudes. This trend and fashion appeal is just as relevant today with Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Rihanna being spotted wearing a pair of yellow boots.
Timberland has always been open to brand collaborations which reach out to further customers and gives their loyal fans a chance to get their hands on limited editions of their classic 6inch boots. Notable collaborations include Spongebob, The Noth Face and Jimmy Choo.
Timberland’s Second Chance program. In partnership with Soles 4 Souls in Europe, aims at converting footwear that is no longer worn. Customers can now hand over unwanted pairs of gently used shoes in one of the selected Timberland stores in Europe, whatever the brand. The footwear is sent to special centers and sorted carefully. It then enters the cycle which will allow it to have a new life. For each pair of shoes handed in, the customer will receive a reward, as well as the satisfaction of helping to reduce our impact on the environment.
Plant the Change program. At the end of 2019, Timberland reached its goal to plant 10 million trees. Now they’re going for more: 50 million in 5 years. Timberland isn't just planting trees, they're planting hope, jobs, clean air, and unity around the world.
Earthkeepers Edition program. Timberland's pinnacle eco-innovations: these styles lead the way when it comes to using responsible materials and methods such as leather from regenerative ranches, responsible natural rubber, or 100% recycled materials.