Given the magnitude of plastic packaging waste in the fashion industry, VF Corp., whose brands include The North Face, Timberland, Vans, Icebreakers, Dickies, and Supreme, has set an ambitious goal to eliminate all single-use plastic packaging, including poly bags, by 2025.
All remaining non-plastic packaging used by VF and its brands will be reduced, originate from sustainable sources and be designed for reuse or recyclability, according to the company.
“With a portfolio comprising some of the world’s most iconic apparel and footwear brands, we recognize we play an important role as environmental stewards and can serve as a catalyst for industry movements that drive positive change,” said Jeannie Renné-Malone, vice president of global sustainability for VF. “Our new global packaging goals are an example of how we can leverage our scale for significant impact. In just one year, we could potentially eliminate as many as 100 million poly bags from our packaging waste.”
In addition, VF’s sustainability goals include that all single-use plastics in product packaging will be 100 percent recycled, bio-based content or a combination of the two by 2023; all paper-based packaging will be recycled content (minimum 80 percent, where performance allows), third-party certified virgin content or a combination of the two by 2023, and VF will commit to leadership in crucial industry coalitions and policy initiative to build circular packaging infrastructure that will enable its 2025 pledge.
VF has been a long-standing participant of Canopy’s Pack4Good initiative, committing that its paper packaging doesn’t contain materials from Ancient and endangered Forests or other controversial sources and reduces overall forest fiber consumption for packaging.
VF has also committed to additional guidelines and sustainability goals that will support its new Sustainable Packaging initiative and commit to minimizing waste across the enterprise.
Among them are all nonessential, single-use plastics for which there is a viable product alternative that will be eliminated from VF’s offices, throughout its direct operations and from all company-sponsored events by 2023.
Further, all VF-owned distribution centers will be zero-waste by April 1, 2021. VF seeks to engage sustainability best practices at its internal and external sponsored events ad is committed to working with retailers and industry peers to support the development of collection platforms and recycling technology.
In addition, VF’s Icebreaker brand is determined to be plastic-free by 2023, removing synthetics from its entire product collection within three years. VF’s Timberland brand has set a vision for its products to have a net positive impact by 2030. By designing 100 percent of its products for circularity, the brand will work toward zero waste. By sourcing 100 percent of its natural materials through regenerative agriculture, The Timberland brand will contribute to its net positive impact on nature.
The North Face brand originally launched a Polybag Brigade recycling program with TerraCycle in 2011 and to date has recycled more than five million polybags.
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