Human Rights

Respect for our people

Upholding human rights, particularly worker rights, is a core priority at VF. We strive to enable our operations to promote dignified work through all levels of our supply chains.

Understanding that women make up over 80% of the apparel sector workforce, we place an emphasis on protecting and promoting women’s rights in the workplace.

While VF never sourced products from Rana Plaza, the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Dhaka in 2013 was a turning point for VF and our industry. More than 1,000 workers lost their lives and over 2,500 people were injured, sparking a global outcry about factory conditions in developing countries.

For many, this catastrophic event highlighted the risks garment workers around the world face to make the clothes we wear. For us, it highlighted the need to elevate factory safety and human rights for VF workers throughout our supply chains.

VF operates at a scale that can make a difference to workers worldwide: we directly employ more than 50,000 employees, over one million people work in factories across the globe to make our products, and millions more enjoy our brands as consumers. We have a clear responsibility to everyone who touches our products, from product quality to safety for our workers and consumers.

VF aims to promote all fundamental human rights outlined in the United Nations’ (UN) International Bill of Human Rights and the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) Core Conventions, as set out in the Declaration of Fundamental Principles & Rights at Work. We’re also committed to conducting ongoing human rights due diligence in line with the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development’s (OECD) Due Diligence for Responsible Business Conduct.

Recognizing we can only address problems we can see, we are expanding our traceability and transparency efforts to dig deeper into our extended supply chain, sharing our findings with key stakeholders. We also collaborate with human rights experts, governments, international organizations and non-profits to who advise us on human rights prioritization. The guidance is translated into action, directing our partnerships with credible organizations to prevent labor violations and promote better working conditions.

Our new human rights strategy

Through our close work with human rights organizations, we’ve identified and prioritized our salient human rights risks and established the following seven areas of focus:

  • Women’s Rights: With women making up approximately 80% of the global apparel workforce, women's rights within the workplace is a key priority. Central to our women’s rights initiative is an elevated dedication to eliminating gender-based violence. Without upholding workplace safety first, we won’t be able to achieve other workplace priorities, including eliminating discrimination, promoting female leadership, and supporting parents through expanded childcare initiatives.
  • Children’s Rights: We believe children belong in school. Allowing children access to education can help break the cycle of poverty.
  • Occupational Health and Safety: At VF, keeping people safe in our supply chain is non-negotiable. We commit to zero loss of life or harm to health as a result of our operations.
  • Freedom of Association: Freedom of association is fundamental for all workers’ rights. It gives workers the power to advocate for themselves, both individually and collectively.
  • Freedom from Forced Labor: We do not tolerate forced labor of any kind in any tier of our supply chain.
  • Working Hours and Leave: We believe associates have the right to appropriate rest and leisure, which includes limitations on working hours.
  • Fair Wages and Adequate Standard of Living: Every worker has the right to compensation sufficient to meet basic needs and provide discretionary income.

We commit to report on our new human rights strategy and progress.

Links

Next Chapter