VF Corp. has released its first Forest Derived Materials Policy, which establishes formal guidelines for the company’s purchasing preferences and use of sustainable forest materials and products.
VF’s forestry policy seeks to avoid the issues associated with deforestation and forest degradation including the loss of ancient and endangered forests, loss of biodiversity and habitat, use of forced labor in making forestry products and loss of indigenous peoples and local community rights.
The policy stresses the use of products made with recycled fiber whenever possible. In addition, it promotes the use of Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper and fiber, while aiming to elevate all third-party forestry management certification systems.
“Deforestation and forest degradation continues to be a global issue affecting climate change and human rights,” said Letitia Webster, VF’s vice president of global corporate sustainability. “This policy provides clear guidance across our many purchasing categories and it enables us to play our part in protecting the world’s forests.”
VF’s brands include Vans, The North Face, Timberland, Wrangler and Lee.
The policy strengthens VF’s broader efforts to use responsibly sourced materials throughout its global operations and supply chain. VF also developed and adheres to existing policies for the purchase and use of Conflict Minerals, Cotton Country of Origin and Animal Derived Materials, in addition to a Restricted Substances List for its chemical management program.
VF partners with several NGOs and external stakeholders, including Canopy, a not-for-profit environmental organization dedicated to protecting forests, species and climate. VF’s policy supports the CanopyStyle initiative, which aims to eliminate the use of ancient and endangered forests in the production of forest-derived fabrics such as rayon and viscose from the apparel and fashion industries by the end of 2017.
“When an apparel giant like VF expands its forest commitment with a policy like this, it adds incredible momentum to global conservation and climate efforts,” said Nicole Rycroft, executive director of Canopy. “From hangtags, to packaging to fabrics, some of America’s favorite global brands are protecting the world’s forests and the species that call them home.”