Spearheading Change in the Apparel Industry
With more than 1,800 facilities across more than 60 countries producing roughly 70 percent of our products, our work with contract suppliers represents the most significant challenges and opportunities for improvement.
The apparel industry, and any industry that manufacturers products, faces systemic challenges related to contract suppliers. Although these are issues that cannot be solved by VF alone, we recognize that we can make positive changes in our supply chain and the industry.
We have developed strict compliance guidelines and programs to meet health and safety standards throughout our vast network of contract suppliers. With more than 110 years of manufacturing experience, we understand how a factory should be run and how the workers within those factories should be treated. Our first approach is to ensure the people making our products are treated fairly and with respect. Before we begin engaging with a contract supplier, every facility must be audited to ensure it meets our high safety and health standards encompassed in our Global Compliance Program, a set of guidelines and programs that help ensure that all individuals who contribute to our success are treated with respect and guaranteed their basic rights to fair compensation; to associate freely and bargain collectively; to work free from discrimination and harassment; and to work in a safe, clean workplace.
Our Global Compliance Program was built upon our owned manufacturing IPM, industry best-practices and is informed by UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights. This program assures that VF-owned and operated facilities, as well as our suppliers and licensees understand and comply with our standards. We have made a commitment – to ourselves, to our customers and to our suppliers – that every item of apparel and footwear we make, or that we license others to make, will be made in factories that conform to our program. As part of our program, VF also works diligently to verify and ensure the absence of child and forced labor across its supply chain. Read more about our social responsibility programs in our supply chain.
The Global Compliance Program includes the following components:
- The Ideal Plant Model (IPM) sits at the core of our owned manufacturing compliance program and helps direct our external facing programs.
- VF’s Terms of Engagement serves as the cornerstone of our relationship with external factories. Every contracted supplier must sign our Terms of Engagement in order to produce VF products.
- Our Global Compliance Principles are the basic requirements that suppliers must meet in order to produce VF apparel and footwear.
- Partnerships and Stakeholders are an integral component to VF’s global work to help us continually improve our standards and processes.
For more information on contract suppliers, please see our People section.
We understand that in working with external suppliers, we have less control over the operating environment in which our products are manufactured. By applying our comprehensive compliance framework to all of our contract suppliers, we have an opportunity to improve the health and safety of workers and implement best practices from our owned manufacturing facilities, which we share with our peers across the industry.