January 27, 2006

Timberland to launch eco-friendly packaging

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Footwear and apparel company
Timberland on Thursday said that, starting in autumn 2006, it
will begin packaging its shoes in boxes made from
environmentally friendly materials that will include a
"nutritional label," modeled after those found on food

Timberland, known for its outdoor hiking boots, said it
will use 100-percent recycled waste fiber for the boxes and
soy-based inks for the print.

The new label will give details on the company's
environmental and community impact, as well as the factory that
made the product.

Timberland said it does not anticipate any additional costs
from the new packaging and labeling.

Timberland's socially conscious move comes as debate heats
up in Europe over whether shoes made in China and Vietnam are
being sold below cost, thereby hurting the domestic shoe
industries of some European countries.

The EU Executive Commission is considering whether to
impose anti-dumping duties on shoe imports from those
countries, including shoes made by Timberland, which could lead
manufacturers to move their factories elsewhere.

Jonathan Tsucalas, a spokesman for Timberland, said in an
email that over three quarters of Timberland's footwear
imported into Europe in 2004 was made in China and Vietnam.