Vans, the US action sports brand owned by VF Corp, has announced a series of global sustainability and responsibility commitment goals it aims to achieve by 2030.
To reach its sustainability vision nine years from now, 100% of Vans’ top materials will be regenerative, responsibly sourced, renewable or recycled, including rubber, cotton, leather and polyester. Additionally, the company will commit to reach a 43% carbon reduction by lowering the average impact of top materials by 35% by 2025, utilizing 50% recycled polyester by 2025 and sourcing 100% sustainably grown cotton by 2025.
By 2030, Vans will pilot and scale regenerative, recycled and responsibly sourced materials covering 85% of the brand’s materials. When combined with other programs like working with suppliers to implement renewable energy in its supply chain, the move to these materials will help Vans achieve its goal of a 30% absolute reduction of scope 3 carbon emissions from a 2017 baseline. This includes piloting and scaling regenerative agriculture practices on farms and ranches that produce rubber, cotton or leather then using these materials in its products; exploring bio-based alternatives with lower carbon footprints than traditional petroleum-based synthetic materials; and converting virgin polyester used in its footwear, apparel and accessories to recycled sources.
Vans has its roots in skateboarding.
By 2025, the brand is also committed to eliminating all single-use plastic packaging and reducing waste at every point of its business model, including the use of no plastic shopping bags in its retail spaces by the end of 2021, while the remaining packaging will be minimized, originated from sustainable sources and designed for recyclability.
Vans is also working toward converting all of its owned and operated facilities to 100% renewable energy by 2025. In 2017, the company began this transition by installing a 1 MW solar array at its headquarters in Costa Mesa, California, achieving a LEED platinum certification, one of the highest standards for sustainable buildings in the world.
Vans HQ in Costa Mesa, CA
As part of its commitment to inspire youth culture, Vans recognizes the urgency to move toward circular products and deploy systems that design out waste, in tandem, aiding the United Nations in achieving the organization’s Sustainable Development Goal 12 to ensure responsible consumption and production patterns.
“At Vans, we believe that sustainability starts with all of us, but can only be accomplished in partnership,” said Kim Matsoukas, the brand’s senior manager of sustainability. “Enabling creative expression is central to Vans. As a purpose-driven company that is engrained in youth culture, we are leveraging our commitment to creativity to seek new solutions that reimagine the lifecycle of our products and protect the environment for future generations. And while there’s more work for us to do, through our Vans family, partnerships with PUR Projet, B-Corp collaborating with companies to regenerate the ecosystems they depend upon, and Terra Genesis, an international regenerative design consultancy, and other environmental organizations, we’re proud to accomplish these goals by 2030 as we look to create a brighter future for our environment, our communities and our planet,” he added.
In Europe, Vans is also partnering with Sole4soules, a non-profit organization that creates sustainable jobs and provides relief through the free distribution of shoes and clothing around the world. Participating stores will give customers the opportunity to drop off unwanted pairs of shoes, which will then be given a new lease of life via their dedicated program to help hard-working entrepreneurs build small businesses through the sales of the donated shoes, with the ultimate goal to break the cycle of poverty.