Thinking circular not linear

Surprising but true, being sustainable can mean going in circles. Put another way, it means moving away from linear business models that generate endless waste in favor of made-to-last products that can be deconstructed and fed back into the production cycle, time and time again.

VF and our portfolio of brands are advancing initiatives that align with the guiding principles of circularity: minimizing virgin, non-renewable, fossil-based inputs; supporting regenerative processes; (re-)using materials and products for as long as possible; and reducing the waste to landfill stream.

Embedding circularity into the business models of our brands requires us to disrupt our current processes, but it’s this disruption that drives our creativity, sparks our innovation, and fuels our growth. Our planet benefits, too, by retaining more of its critical natural resources. For VF, circularity is a win-win approach.

Circular concepts like product resell and rental make enjoying our products so much easier. Affordable, accessible, and flexible—that’s circularity!

We’re moving from linear to circular in three exciting ways.

Rental – why buy when you can rent?

Renting apparel is growing increasingly popular with consumers—not only does it enhance choice and flexibility, but it reduces environmental impact, while giving your closet a little breathing room. 

Recommerce – reincarnation for clothes

Recommerce gives clothes a second, third, or fourth life, which means less waste and greater overall value. It’s predicted that the secondhand market for clothes will double in the next ten years and that quality reused clothing will make up a third of our closets by 2033.

Circular design

Most products today aren’t designed to be circular, not to mention infrastructure around the world isn't always set up to support the reuse of garments and footwear. Moving toward a circular economy requires a wholesale approach, driven by innovative ideas and new business models. We’re tackling the challenge head on, pioneering new ideas that address circular design from products to packaging.

Our fundamental philosophies of Circular Design

  • design for durability to extend product life
  • design out waste so fewer raw materials are used or discarded
  • design for recyclability so that products can eventually be deconstructed and used to make other great products.

Circular business is still in its infancy across the industry, but by daring to reimagine and reinvent, we aim to be a leader in the move toward a circular economy. We can’t achieve this alone, so we’re working alongside several partners, including World Resources Institute to help inform our work and drive progress.

Today, 36% of our designers in Europe have been trained in circular design and are aligned with our goal to pioneer circularity in our industry by 2030. This is a bold aspiration, but we believe we need bold ambitions to power truly transformative change.