11 Oct VF Launches Materials Source Maps For Supply Chain Transparency
The source maps, available on VF’s sustainability website, help ensure every step in the production of VF’s apparel and footwear meets the corporation’s standards of quality, sustainability and social responsibility.
“Consumers today want to do business with companies who are committed to social responsibility,” said Shanel Orton, VF’s traceability manager. “We want to know with certainty, too. This provides increased confidence that our practices are consistent with VF’s principles.”
The amount of effort needed to fully map the supply chain of a single product and build verified data for each supplier is not a simple task. This includes mapping where VF acquires raw materials such as cotton and rubber to the various factories that manufacture and produce a finished product to the distribution centers from where the product is shipped. For example, for a single Vans product, VF identified 78 unique suppliers in the full supply chain of that one product. Through the creation of the source map, a consumer can now follow the creation of Vans’ classic Checkerboard Slip-Ons starting with the cotton fibers that are woven into material for the shoes.
The interactive maps display the number and locations of suppliers in a region and users can zoom in for a close-up look at each supplier, including onsite inspections, verifications and associate interviews.
“These maps tell a powerful story about how our products are made,” Orton said. “We can use this information to continually improve our supply chain footprint.”
VF sources products from 60 countries and thousands of contract suppliers, and this process has provided invaluable information that VF will continue to use to ensure a focus on responsible and ethical practices throughout its entire global supply chain. More information VF’s Responsible Sourcing program is available here.