Driving a More Equitable and Sustainable World: Meet the VF Foundation’s 2023 Grantees
Since its inception, The VF Foundation, the private grantmaking organization funded by VF Corporation, has been contributing to communities around the globe, funding important organizations that help create a more equitable and sustainable future and helping to advance VF’s Purpose. In 2023, The VF Foundation was proud to grant nearly $4 million to 55 organizations around the globe in partnership with VF’s people and brands.
“We are proud to invest in grantees who are yielding life-changing, planet-protecting, people-empowering impact,” said Gloria Schoch, Executive Director of The VF Foundation and Senior Director at VF Corporation. “Our funds help cultivate meaningful societal change including striving for equity in workforce development, empowering women and girls, introducing more people to the great outdoors and accelerating promising climate solutions for the fashion industry and beyond.”
Highlighted below are some of the 2023 grantees, all working to advance progress towards The VF Foundation's priority areas.
Driving a More Accessible Outdoors, Fashion Industry, and Trades
The VF Foundation works to lift barriers to outdoor exploration and foster career opportunities in fashion and trades. To help promote increased participation of historically under-resourced and underrepresented communities, in 2023 The Foundation invested in the following organizations:
- Justice Outside to fund the development of a robust state and federal advocacy program to advance U.S.-based policies centered in racial justice and equity in the outdoors.
- Beyond Sport Foundation to pilot Allyship in the Outdoors course across Europe in partnership with The North Face® to foster the next generation of inclusive explorers.
- Trust for Public Land to support the design of new green schoolyards on nature-deprived tribal lands across the U.S. through pilot projects with the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE).
- The Skatepark Project to build an urban skatepark for the community and by the community in New York City in partnership with Vans®.
- Fashion Scholarship Fund Community Colleges Initiative to foster a more diverse pipeline of U.S. talent for the fashion industry by supporting young adults of promise pursuing less-traditional educational pathways.
- National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) Education Foundation to reach underrepresented groups in construction, including women and people of color, to help provide meaningful careers and grow the industry through scholarships across the U.S. in partnership with Dickies®.
Empowering Women in Vulnerable Communities
The VF Foundation works to uplift diverse, under-resourced communities around the world, with a focus on women and girls. The Foundation is helping to address core obstacles in community development and help create lasting economic improvement intended to benefit future generations. To help achieve these goals, the Foundation is funding organizations that mobilize resources to empower local decision-making and action, such as:
- RISE - Reimagining Industry to Support Equality to prevent and remediate gender-based violence and harassment in the garment sector through an educational pilot program in Guatemala with the aim of scaling the model in Latin America and across the globe.
- Shimmy Technologies, Inc. to drive innovative change while ensuring female garment workers in Bangladesh are equipped with the necessary skills and training to thrive in an industry embracing automation.
- Water.org to provide an estimated 60 million liters per year of volumetric benefit in communities facing water scarcity, giving 10,000 people in Nairobi, Kenya access to improved water and sanitation solutions through microloan programs.
Unlocking Climate Solutions
The VF Foundation helps seed the mitigation of climate change by investing in circular and regenerative practices in fashion and apparel, including promising innovations in reducing textile waste, supporting local farmers and fueling green jobs as a transformative solution. A handful of grant recipients in this space include:
- Biomimicry Institute to test technologies that convert post-consumer clothes and textiles waste in Europe into biocompatible raw materials with a program called “Design by Decomposition.”
- Soil Health Institute Regenerative Cotton Fund and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) internship program to help farmers adopt regenerative practices, with the goal of eliminating one million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) from the atmosphere by 2026.
- Industrial Commons Material Return to transform textile waste into new yarn to extend the life cycle of new U.S. made products and grow green jobs in partnership with Smartwool®.
- World Business Council For Sustainable Development CTI Fashion Initiative to propel harmonized global standards, metrics, data and best practices to scale up a circular fashion industry.
- Redress Circular Fashion Design Residency to empower emerging fashion designers in Asia to create circular products and educate consumers to buy with sustainability in mind, keep products longer, and dispose of items responsibly.
Providing Humanitarian Aid
When disasters strike, The VF Foundation provides coordinated support for humanitarian relief and recovery efforts to support communities where VF operates around the world. This includes monetary investments, employee matching grants, coordinated volunteer assistance, and product donations. Partners this year include:
- Hawai‘i Community Foundation to provide resources to victims of the Maui Fires in partnership with Vans®.
- UNHCR, The UN Refugee Agency to support refugees impacted by the Turkey and Syrian Earthquake with monetary grants and brand product donations including warm coats and jackets.
- International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to help both Israelis and Palestinians impacted by the Middle East conflict with medical aid and live-saving supplies.