VF’s brands empower consumers to contribute to a better world. Here are a few examples:
Designers at the Napapijri® brand are driven by the internal mantra to "Make It Better,"which means innovating product performance to continually exceed consumer expectations in the areas of aesthetics and functionality. Making It Better also means reducing the impact its products have on the planet. This has led the brand to eliminate fur and down from its product lines as well as increase the use of high-tech materials that reduce the amount of materials used in its Superlight Parka, which also makes it lighter. Consumers are responding to these sustainable and responsible efforts by making this one of the top sellers at Napapjiri®.
In 2007, the Timberland® brand created its first Earthkeepers® boot – made from 50 percent recycled PET linings and laces, 15 percent recycled rubber outsoles, and leathers sourced from tanneries rated Silver by the Leather Working Group. The Original Earthkeepers® boot was the brand’s most eco-conscious, and an instant success with consumers. It also transformed how the Timberland® brand made its products, shifting sustainability from an add-on to an integrated principle that informs how all of its products are designed and manufactured. In 2017, the brand celebrated the Earthkeepers® 10th anniversary by announcing that all of its products have environmental product standards and goals. Now, all consumers can easily access some of the most eco-conscious footwear available today.
In 2014, The North Face® brand set out to design a hoodie made completely with materials and manufacturing within a 150-mile radius of its Alameda, Calif., headquarters. While the brand fell short of this ambitious goal, it did succeed in making a unique “Made in the USA” product. The project represents The North Face® brand’s ongoing journey to offer its consumers products that are responsibly crafted with minimal environmental impact. The initiative also enabled the brand to build new relationships with domestic farmers, ranchers, fabric mills and garment manufacturers. Due to the success of the product and the effort overall, The North Face® brand has expanded its Backyard Project Hoodie into a larger Backyard Project Collection that includes the Cali Wool Beanie, made from premium Climate BeneficialTM wool that's sourced from Bare Ranch in California.
The Timberland®, The North Face® and Vans® brands are working with partners in the communities they call “special places” to collect plastic bottles, turn them into fibers, and incorporate the recycled material into their products, helping to reduce the amount of waste in our communities.
It is estimated that consumers dispose of roughly 70 pounds of clothing each year, accounting for 9 percent of the world’s total non-recycled waste. Our consumers have expressed their frustration with being contributors to this waste and are looking to us for solutions. In response, our Timberland®, The North Face® and Vans® brands now offer product takeback programs in many of their retail stores. The products, once collected, are either donated or recycled into new products, reducing the apparel and footwear waste stream.
For every bag sold in the Kipling® brand’s Hong Kong stores in the spring of 2016, a backpack was given to a child in the care of the Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF) in Steung Meanchey, an impoverished community outside Phnom Penh that once served as a dumpsite. With Kipling® brand bags manufactured in Phnom Penh, the team jumped at the opportunity to help this community and distributed nearly 3,000 backpacks to students. The brand continues to work with CCF on ongoing mentorship and support.
One in 10 people globally lack access to clean water. To help address this challenge, the Nautica® brand partners with charity: water to fund projects that bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries, improving health and creating economic and educational opportunities. Nautica® brand consumers extend the reach and impact of these efforts through the Nautica® Give Change to Make Change program. By rounding up their purchase price to the next dollar, consumers can donate the remainder to charity: water. Since 2012, Nautica® brand consumers have contributed $3 million in stores and online. This illustrates the power our brands can have in consolidating the actions of individual consumers worldwide for greater impact.
In honor of World Water Day in 2016 and 2017, the Eagle Creek® brand partnered with social enterprise packH2O to produce nearly 2,100 water backpacks and make water more accessible for 2,000 families in a water-stressed region of Kenya. For every piece of Eagle Creek® luggage purchased during specified months, the brand covered the production costs of a packH2O water backpack.
Since 2012, the Vans® brand has given consumers who shop in its stores the option to buy a $2-dollar reusable bag instead of a single use plastic bag. The proceeds from this initiative, which exceed $1.7 million, have been donated to Askate and Surfer's Healing, two nonprofits that provide skate and surf clinics to children with autism.