by Karen Alberg Grossman



Our essential corporate strategy, which we’ve shared with investors, involves leading in innovation, creating and growing lifestyle brands, serving consumers directly, and discovering more opportunities internationally.

“To these intrinsic goals, we’ve recently added a few more: 1) To improve how we connect with consumers digitally. We realize the window to our brands is held in the palm of their hands. 2) To enhance the way we use consumer analytics in order to become leaders in that space. 3) To become the leader in sustainability and responsible sourcing, which takes much effort and results in a degree of vulnerability. Obviously much of what we do has positive and negative ramifications (e.g. any given chemical has both good and bad effects) and, because we’re so transparent about our actions, this information can be used against us.

“That said, we firmly believe in helping the communities where we source, whether the workers are employed by us or by a contractor we use. All of these workers and their families deserve access to clean water, to good nutrition, to health care, to education. Our VF Initiatives Through Responsible Sourcing has been able to help families around the world with numerous programs ranging from mobile health facilities to financial consulting. We’ve redefined what it means to source responsibly; it’s clearly the right thing to do.

“We were a $3 to $4 billion company when I came on board; 20 years later we’re a $12.3 billion company. Hopefully, when we lead with these types of proactive initiatives, it inspires other companies to do the same.”