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.