VF Corporation Brands – Timberland®, Vans®, and The North Face® – Set to Roll Out New Product Collections With Rubber Sourced From Farms Using Regenerative Agriculture Practices in 2023
VF Pilot with Terra Genesis on Industry’s First Verified Regenerative Rubber Supply System Hitting Its Stride
DENVER – April 13, 2023 – VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC), a global leader in branded lifestyle apparel, footwear and accessories, today announced that several of its brands are releasing new product collections this year that take advantage of regeneratively-sourced natural rubber, made possible through VF’s pilot program in Thailand with Terra Genesis. “Regenerative agriculture” encompasses a variety of environmentally and socially conscious practices, which aim to help support biodiversity, enhance water cycles, improve soil health and sequester carbon. This approach not only changes growing practices and helps improve the lives of farmers, it helps replenish and strengthen the soil, plants and the surrounding nature.
“As part of our Science Based Targets roadmap, our vision is that our top nine materials shall originate from regenerative, responsibly sourced renewable, or recycled sources. While transitioning to regenerative is a continual process, the farms we’re working with are already realizing the positive benefits, and will ultimately help us achieve this goal,” says Jeannie Renné Malone, the company’s Vice President of Global Sustainability. “We’re proud to work with Terra Genesis and this grower community, which is continually refining their farming practices to reduce their impact on our planet.”
Terra Genesis, a regenerative design and development firm connecting brands with growers, has developed the first of its kind Regenerative Outcome Verified – ROV™ rubber supply system. Following a three-year pilot program sponsored by VF, Terra Genesis collaborated with a network of farming communities in Thailand to scale up the production of regeneratively sourced natural rubber for use within VF’s supply chain. Examples of VF brands that are currently taking advantage of this new sustainable rubber are as follows:
- On February 2nd, Timberland® launched its first product featuring regeneratively grown natural rubber - the Greenstride™ Motion 6 Hiker. Designed for six ways of motion, this boot features Greenstride™ comfort soles – balancing performance and function with four-way traction, comfort and breathability, and outsoles made with 55% regeneratively grown rubber. In late March, as part of its 50th Anniversary activations, the brand featured regeneratively grown natural rubber in the highly anticipated Timberland x Edison Chen Future73 TimberloopÔ 6-Inch Boot, which also includes outsoles made with 55% regeneratively grown rubber. Mentioned are just two of more than 120 styles that will utilize regenerative rubber in 2023 from Timberland. “We began our regenerative sourcing journey in 2020 with leather, followed by cotton in 2021. We’re incredibly excited to expand into rubber, one of our top materials,” said Meredith Lipnick, Senior Manager of Environmental Stewardship for Timberland. “The work Terra Genesis is doing is critical, in terms of not only environmental benefits, but also supporting the farmers who are so passionate about their land, livelihoods and communities.”
- Vans® is utilizing regeneratively grown natural rubber in its Circle Vee™ silhouette, the cornerstone of the brand’s new Surf VR3 Collection, which launched on March 1, 2023. All of the rubber used to make the Circle Vee’s VR3Waffle™ outsole (60% of the compound) is regeneratively grown natural rubber. In addition, this season Vans will utilize regenerative rubber in the VR3Waffle™ outsole across an even broader VR3 collection of approximately 80 SKUs and more than 500k pairs of shoes. “The responsibility we have to protect the environment for future generations is critical,” said Alyse Russel, Senior Manager of Sustainability at Vans. “And by sourcing regeneratively grown natural rubber, we are supporting farming practices that aim to restore natural forests and create thriving, biodiverse ecosystems. By incorporating sustainably conscious product innovation into our designs, such as our VR3Waffle™ outsole, we are helping to enhance water cycles, improve soil health and sequester carbon from the atmosphere.” The Vans team is working to educate their consumers about the benefits of regenerative rubber by launching a series of Instagram videos -Post 1, Post 2, & Post 3.
- In Fall of 2023, The North Face® will launch its first footwear products containing rubber from these diversified rubber farms. The rubber will be incorporated into most of the brand’s SURFACE CTRL™ outsoles, making up 10% of the outsole in all but three shoe models that use them, including popular styles such as the Back-to-Berkeley boot, Hedgehog hiking boots and new Summit VECTIV Pro “Through our relationship with Terra Genesis, we are able to help support farming systems that can provide biodiversity benefits and promote increased soil health. Additionally, we can utilize this rubber in our SURFACE CTRL™ outsoles without compromising the traction performance on demanding terrains,” said Carol Shu, Senior Manager of Global Sustainability for The North Face. “We believe using regeneratively grown materials in our products can help to move the retail industry beyond just ‘doing less bad’ into a space of having a more positive impact on nature and resources.”
Rubber is just one of the materials already on its way to becoming sourced from farms or ranches using regenerative agriculture practices. VF Corp also has pilot programs underway to work towards regeneratively-cultivated wool, cotton and leather. In the meantime, the company will continue to explore opportunities with suppliers who are honing their sustainable agricultural practices.
To help assess regenerative agriculture programs and their participating producers, VF Corp is creating a Regenerative Framework of Guidelines with the help of consultant, Pure Strategies, covering a variety of farming practices, including those around rubber as a part of tree crop and agroforestry.
By creating relationships with farmers, ranchers, and growers that are on the road to achieving regenerative practices and verified outcomes, VF is working to build sustainable supply chains that will benefit the apparel and footwear industry and beyond. This effort is consistent with the company’s mission to promote sustainable lifestyles for the betterment of people and the planet.
About VF Corporation
Founded in 1899, VF Corporation is one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies connecting people to the lifestyles, activities and experiences they cherish most through a family of iconic outdoor, active and workwear brands including Vans®, The North Face®, Timberland® and Dickies®. Our purpose is to power movements of sustainable and active lifestyles for the betterment of people and our planet. We connect this purpose with a relentless drive to succeed to create value for all stakeholders and use our company as a force for good. For more information, please visit vfc.com.
About Terra Genesis
Terra Genesis is an international regenerative design firm. We work at the intersection of agriculture, ecology, and enterprise to help individuals and organizations as they innovate towards beneficial social, ecological, and financial impacts.
Vice President, Corporate Communications
Released April 17, 2023