Performance, Fit, Style, Price and Eco-Friendliness
VF manufactures nearly 500 million units of product every year. In addition to having the right performance, fit, style and price, our customers now expect them to be developed and produced in a responsible manner. We consider how, by whom and where our products are made, as well as the associated environmental and social impacts.
Every day, VF manufactures approximately 1.3 million products. Our diverse product portfolio includes jeans, technical jackets and dress wear, chef apparel, tents, skateboarding shoes and luggage. We produce more than 760,000 different styles of items – many in a multitude of color combinations and sizes.
Producing all of these products makes VF one of the largest purchasers of raw materials in the apparel and footwear sector. For example, we purchase roughly 1 percent of the world’s cotton yield annually, and we are one of the largest purchasers of zippers in our industry. Additionally, we are among the largest customers within many of the facilities from which we source.
We are working to tap the potential of our size and diversity to create more sustainable and responsible products that delight our consumers. Collaborative efforts among our brands, supply chain, product teams and innovation programs are creating the intersection for identifying our most promising opportunities and for solving these important challenges. We believe VF can truly become an agent of positive change.
Measurable change starts with understanding what we can directly influence. This requires taking a close look at our products to determine what improvements can be made. The following section provides information regarding how we incorporate sustainable practices across the entire lifecycle of our products.
Launched in 2007, the Timberland’s® Earthkeepers® collection uses recycled materials like PET plastic bottles instead of virgin raw materials. The Earthkeepers® collection quickly became Timberland’s® largest and fastest growing product line. Sustainable designs and materials are now being integrated into all of Timberland’s® product categories.
Lee® ReThink is a new product line that utilizes environmentally responsible processes for several phases of jeans production, from cotton farming, yarn spinning and fabric weaving to cutting, sewing and distributing its finished products. Lee® ReThink promotes greater water and energy efficiencies, with 49, 36 and 39 percent savings in water, energy and carbon emissions, respectively.
Reef® designers are continuously seeking new ways to source and make products in a more environmentally responsible way. Every product in the Reef® line uses 100 percent water-based glues and is 100 percent PVC free. Select Redemptive styles go above and beyond Reef’s® core environmental product values ranging from recycled rubber and organic textiles to sustainable sourcing projects with artisans in developing countries around the world.
VANS® VIRTUALIZATION INITIATIVE
Vans® launched its virtualization initiative in early 2013 to significantly reduce its reliance on physical shoe samples. By replacing physical samples with photorealistic computer generated 3D models, Vans® aims to reduce both the cost and the environmental impact of producing and shipping samples during the design and development, as well as at the catalog photography phase. This shift also allows designers to make better design decisions earlier in the design process, thus allowing for faster time-to-market. Vans’® goal is to replace 50 percent of all footwear samples by 2017, with a final goal of 70 percent replacement rate.