The Vf Foundation Announces $8.3 Million in Community Investments, Highlighting Efforts in Climate Action, Equitable Access to the Outdoors, and Women’s Empowerment Worldwide
DENVER – (February 13, 2022) – The VF Foundation, the private grantmaking organization funded by VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC), one of the world's largest apparel, footwear, and accessories companies, today announced its 2022 grants totaling $8.3 million to 60 organizations globally. The grant recipients were selected based on their innovative contributions toward creating a more equitable and sustainable future.
Of the $8.3 million granted, nearly $2,635,000 supported causes aimed at creating more inclusive and accessible outdoor spaces; $2,682,500 supported women’s empowerment and community development; $1,642,000 supported projects in sustainable innovation; and the remaining investments supported scholarships and mentorship programs created to ensure more diverse representation in the apparel, footwear and outdoor industries.
“We are proud to invest in grantees who share our passion and vision for creating meaningful change in our core focus areas,” said Gloria Schoch, Executive Director of The VF Foundation and Senior Director of Global Impact at VF Corporation. “Our funds help seed, grow and elevate our grantees’ work protecting the planet, striving for equity, empowering women, fighting for inclusivity, increasing access for all to the great outdoors, and being innovative leaders in climate solutions.”
A More Accessible Outdoors, For Individual and Professional Pursuit
The VF Foundation is invested in lifting barriers to outdoor access and career opportunities in the outdoor industry. To help promote increased participation of historically underserved communities, this effort includes working with organizations such as:
Uvalde CISD Moving Forward Foundation (Texas): The VF Foundation granted $500K towards the capital campaign of a new elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. The investment will be leveraged to construct a gym and outdoor design elements to help Uvalde students and the community heal and thrive through physical activity and outdoor exploration.
Trust for Public Land (US): The VF Foundation granted $250K for the Trust for Public Land’s evidence-based climate justice program which aims to improve health, climate, equity, and educational outcomes for students and their communities. The funds will catalyze the development of new green schoolyards on nature-deprived tribal lands through a pilot project with the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE). The community schoolyard model will also be expanded in the Los Angeles Unified School District as part of this investment.
University of Denver (Denver): The VF Foundation granted more than $3 million to create The Leadership in Outdoor Recreation Industry Program (LORI), the first-of-its-kind interdisciplinary outdoor graduate program featuring coursework from three academic units covering business, law, and policy to equip the leaders of today and tomorrow to fuel the rapidly growing field of outdoor recreation. The partnership also includes targeted scholarships for underrepresented students to increase the diversity of the talent pipeline for the industry. Topics covered will include: financial models, marketing, sustainability in the outdoor industry, ESG, legal issues in land use and access, supply chain, public policy, data-driven decision-making and more.
Leicester City in the Community (United Kingdom): The VF Foundation granted $50K to the Urban Foxes Project to engage girls in positive activities through skateboarding, climbing, and snow sports. The funds also provide access to art and cultural activities including photography, videography, and graffiti, with a focus on reducing barriers to participation, developing confidence and self-esteem, promoting positive physical and mental wellbeing, and raising aspirations.
Women’s Empowerment in Vulnerable Communities Globally
The VF Foundation works to uplift diverse, vulnerable communities around the world, with a particular emphasis on women and girls. By engaging regionally focused organizations, the Foundation is helping to address core obstacles in community development while also supporting lasting economic improvements intended to benefit future generations. This funding is going toward organizations that mobilize resources to empower local decision-making and action, such as:
The Resilience Fund for Women in Global Value Chains (Southeast Asia): The VF Foundation helped launch this groundbreaking new fund spearheaded by Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), the United Nations Foundation’s Universal Access Project, and Women Win/Win-Win Strategies to bring together corporate investors, foundations, and NGO partners to transform philanthropy and invest in the health, safety, and economic resilience of the women who form the backbone of global value chains. The Fund aims to raise at least $10 million in pooled funding over three years to support locally driven solutions to the systemic problems that make women more vulnerable to crises like the Covid-19 pandemic. This second year of funding will support women-led, women-serving feminist movements in Vietnam and Cambodia.
Shimmy Technologies, Inc (Bangladesh): In the face of increasing automation and digitalization within garment industry communities, Shimmy Technologies is addressing the digital gender divide and empowering the next generation of garment workers by developing and piloting video game-based skilled training programs to upskill women in their field with the goal of building financial resiliency and creating new job opportunities for the unemployed.
WaterAid (Cambodia): In Cambodia, one in four people don't have access to clean drinking water, disproportionately affecting women, girls, and people living with disabilities. With the support of The VF Foundation’s grant, WaterAid is addressing these issues head-on, prioritizing women's participation and leadership in climate-resiliency. It will also inform program design, decision-making and implementation ensuring that access to clean water, hygiene, and sanitation at work and home are sustainable for everyone for years to come.
Unlocking Promising Nature-Based Climate Solutions
The VF Foundation is focusing investments on circular and regenerative practices in fashion and apparel, including promising innovations to reduce textile waste, support local farmers and fuel green jobs as a transformative solution. The VF Foundation grant recipients in this space include:
Biomimicry Institute (Global): With funds from The VF Foundation, “Design for Decomposition” pilots and cutting-edge research will test technologies to convert post-consumer clothes and textiles waste into biocompatible raw materials. The pilots will take place in Western Europeand Ghana, testing the most promising decomposition technologies that are commercially viable but have yet to scale, with supporting research in the U.S.
Soil Health Institute (U.S.): The VF Foundation’s grant to The U.S. Regenerative Cotton Fund will help advance the adoption of soil health management systems across more than 1 million acres of U.S. cotton cropland to mitigate the effects of climate change, improve cotton producers’ livelihoods, and create a more resilient future for all. The goal of the fund is to draw down 1 million metric tons of CO2e from the atmosphere by 2026 through increased adoption of regenerative soil health practices by cotton farmers. The grant will also employ students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to promote equitable approaches to sustainable agriculture through an internship program.
Industrial Commons (U.S.): Material Return, a leading circular economy social enterprise platform, is transforming textile waste into new yarn. The VF Foundation’s investment in this project is intended to divert millions of pounds of textile waste from the landfill, provide quality jobs to textile workers, and develop a system that national brands can access to enhance circularity for new products.
Savory Institute (Europe): This pilot grant aims to help shift large areas of grasslands across the Iberian Peninsula to regenerative management within five years through capacity building, holistic management training, and ecological data monitoring at scale. The pilot will also help to elevate and equip communities whose livelihoods rely on healthy, productive lands, with the vision of fueling the transition of regenerative food and textile fiber products to markets in Europe.
Redress (Asia): The VF Foundation provides funding for Redress' new strategy for closing sustainability knowledge and skill gaps within the industry. This project will map the current fashion industry landscape across Asia, identify apparel production and waste hotspots, and publish key findings and recommendations for the greatest areas of opportunities in the region.
About The VF Foundation
The VF Foundation is the private grantmaking organization funded by VF Corporation, one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies with iconic outdoor, active and workwear brands including Vans®, The North Face®, Timberland®, Smartwool®, JanSport® and Dickies®. With its partners, The VF Foundation strives to innovate and problem-solve in collaborative ways to drive transformative, lasting change with the vision of creating a more equitable and sustainable world. Established in 2002, the Foundation has granted more than $66 million globally with the goal of meaningfully improving the communities where VF operates. It’s committed to driving movements for the betterment of people and the planet across its key strategic pillars: embracing Outside Matters, championing Worthy Work, empowering creativity, and self-expression as we are Free to Be, and supporting Disaster Relief and Recovery. Learn more at https://www.vfc.com/responsibility/the-vf-foundation.
Vice President, Corporate Communications