The North Face’s Sustainability Journey: Prioritizing ESG Initiatives, Promoting Inclusivity, and Inspiring Action

An apparel tag from The North Face's Renewed Collection.

(Credit: The North Face

by | Feb 22, 2023

This article is included in these additional categories:

An apparel tag from The North Face's Renewed Collection.

(Credit: The North Face

The North Face is a well-known outdoor clothing and equipment brand that is known for its commitment to sustainability. The company has implemented a range of initiatives aimed at reducing its environmental impact and promoting social responsibility. The North Face’s commitment to sustainability is driven by its belief that protecting the planet is essential for the future of outdoor recreation.

Company Milestones

  • 2008: Establishment of Clothes the Loop program, which was one of the first textile recycling programs in the outdoor industry.
  • 2010: The Explore Fund grant program launched.
  • 2013: Responsible Down Standard (RDS) – a third-party certification program that ensures that the down used in The North Face products comes from animals that have not been subjected to unnecessary harm.
  • 2015: Launch of the Climate Beneficial program which involves working with farmers to sequester carbon in the soil through regenerative agriculture practices.
  • 2017: PFC-Free Future program began, which involves eliminating the use of per- and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) in its products.
  • 2018: The North Face committed to achieving 100% renewable energy across its owned and operated facilities by 2025.
  • 2019: Launched the Renewed program
  • 2020: The North Face formed The Explore Fund Council, a group of leaders across culture, entertainment, and academia, to co-develop Seven Practices for Inclusive Exploration, an inclusivity framework to make work at The North Face and in the outdoors more inclusive.

“Sustainability is not just about reducing our impact; it’s about making a positive impact. We want to be a force for good in the world, and we’re committed to doing that through our products, our operations, and our partnerships.” – Hilaree Nelson, The North Face Athlete, and Global Team Captain

Prioritizing ESG Initiatives

Suppliers

The company collaborates with various organizations such as the Apparel Impact Institute, International Finance Corporation’s Vietnam Improvement Program (VIP) and Partnership for Cleaner Textile (PaCT) Program, the German International Development Agency (GIZ), and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to assist suppliers in enhancing their energy efficiency and reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.

The aim is to assist the key suppliers in reducing their Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50% before 2030. In 2022, ten significant suppliers have joined The North Face’s energy efficiency partnership programs, which include rooftop solar programs. These programs are already in progress in Jordan, Korea, Taiwan, Cambodia, and Bangladesh.

Packaging, Materials & Circularity

Since 2011, the company has recycled more than 6 Million Polybags. In most retail locations, customers can expect to carry out their purchases in Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®)-certified paper bags.

Through its “Clothes the Loop” initiative, the company gathers pre-owned clothing and footwear from its patrons and recycles them to create fresh merchandise. Additionally, its “Renewed” program restores and sells gently used apparel and equipment effectively reducing waste and prolonging the lifespan of The North Face’s offerings.

Further, The North Face is also committed to responsible sourcing and implemented programs like the Responsible Down Standard, which ensures that the down used in its products comes from animals that have not been subjected to unnecessary harm, and committed to sourcing 100% of its cotton from sustainable sources by 2025 and footwear and equipment by 2030.

Inclusivity, Social Responsibility

In addition to its efforts to reduce its environmental impact, The North Face is committed to promoting inclusivity in outdoor recreation. The company has formed The Explore Fund Council, a group of leaders across culture, entertainment, and academia, to co-develop Seven Practices for Inclusive Exploration, an inclusivity framework to make work at The North Face and in the outdoors more inclusive

In 2020, the company demonstrated its impressive ability to inspire action through its recent stance against hate speech. The outdoor retailer set an example for others by being the first brand to participate in the #StopHateForProfit campaign and boycott Facebook alongside organizations like NAACP, ADL, and Color of Change.

Additional articles you will be interested in.

Stay Informed

Get E+E Leader Articles delivered via Newsletter right to your inbox!

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Share This