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Inside VF's New Sustainability Direction

Updated: Apr 22, 2019

The following article appeared on GreenBiz.com on January 19, 2018

VF Corp has 25 brands in nearly everyone’s closet, including Timberland, Vans, Wrangler, Lee, Nautica, the North Face, Eastpak, Jansport and a handful of others. The company's new strategy, "Made for Change," affects how products from these brands are made and sold, and how the materials are sourced.

The apparel and footwear industry is a tough one. We all want gear that meets our needs and makes us look good, but we also want to feel as if our stuff causes no human or environmental harm. VF’s new strategy aims to move consumers closer to that goal by focusing on circular business models, using its vast scale to drive positive change.

Over the past year, I worked closely with VF on this strategy. Although I’m invested in it, I’m also intimately familiar with its breadth and nuance.

The strategy drives business value. Its commitment to fighting climate change and ethically sourcing materials will have a big positive impact, given the volume of materials it sources. It also gives more everyday consumers a role in supporting good business practices through their purchases. This is where we really will begin to see change. 

Here are some of the exciting implications in each area:

1. Circular business models 

The strategy's focus on circular business models captures new business value. VF hasn’t put forth a mere sustainability strategy, but a new business strategy.

We’ve moved away from a world where sustainability can be just a philanthropic add-on and towards where human rights and natural resource limitations become drivers that push us to find better ways to do things. Corporate efforts to increase sustainability that also maximize business value are the Holy Grail. VF’s pursuit of circular business models is a bold initiative that combines business sense with responsibility....

See full article on https://www.greenbiz.com/article/inside-vfs-new-sustainability-direction

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