The North Face Announces New Sustainability Goals

New programs launched to reduce environmental impacts through improved materials and product manufacturing processes
Jul 22, 2014 1:00 PM ET

Alameda, Calif., July 21, 2014 /3BL Media/ – The North Face, the world's premier supplier of authentic, innovative and technically advanced outdoor apparel, equipment and footwear, today announced updates to its Corporate Responsibility Report, first launched in 2011. The most significant updates focus on increased use of recycled content in apparel, an extended lifecycle for products through Clothes the Loop, a clothing take-back program, reduction in environmental impacts, and the launch of the Responsible Down Standard (RDS), a universal standard for improved animal welfare throughout the brand’s down supply chain. The report is available for public viewing at\Sustainability,

“The evolution of our approach to sustainability lies in the design of our products,” said Adam Mott, Director of Sustainability. “If we can make sustainability a fundamental component of design, then we can move toward making innovative products that have a positive effect on the environment and society.”

Increasing use of Recycled Content
The North Face is working to use 100 percent recycled content for all of its polyester fabric by 2016. Close to 80 percent of all The North Face fabric is polyester, so the goal is significant. As The North Face increases the amount of recycled plastic in its polyester fabric, the brand will provide a market solution for a growing problem – used water and soda bottles. The North Face is also helping to reduce dependence on fossil fuels by reusing those materials already in existence. In addition, recycled polyester has a lower impact on air and water resources than virgin polyester. The North Face iconic Denali jacket is an example of a product with fleece made 100% from recycled content.

Clothes-the-Loop on Product Life-Cycles
The Clothes the Loop program, launched as a pilot program in 2013, allows consumers to drop off unwanted clothing and footwear from any brand in any condition at participating The North Face retail stores. The deposited items are sent to a recycling center where they are carefully sorted based on over 400 categories. They are then repurposed for reuse to extend their life or recycled into raw materials for use in products like insulation, carpet padding, stuffing for toys, and fibers for new clothing. The North Face 2013 pilot in 10 stores lasted three and a half months and collected 1,350 pounds of clothing and footwear. It is now in 27 total stores.

Reducing Environmental Impacts
The North Face has engaged its suppliers in efforts to reduce chemicals, water, energy and waste in their mills, with savings equivalent to removing over 100 tanker trucks of chemicals, over 230 Olympic swimming pools of water and over 3,000 cars off the road since 2010.

The Responsible Down Standard (RDS)
The North Face is committed to improving animal welfare and traceability in the goose down and feather supply chain. The brand created the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) to ensure that its down does not come from animals that have been subject to any unnecessary harm, such as force-feeding or live-plucking, and to provide a traceability system to validate the original source of down used in The North Face products. The RDS has been gifted to Textile Exchange, a global nonprofit dedicated to sustainability in the apparel and textile industry, for industry review and use. Certified down will be incorporated into The North Face products starting in Fall 2015 with a goal of 100 percent certification by Fall 2017.

About The North Face® 
The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1966 with the goal of preparing outdoor athletes for the rigors of their next adventure. Today we are the world's leading outdoor brand, creating athlete-tested, expedition-proven products that help people explore and test the limits of human potential. We protect our outdoor playgrounds and minimize our impact on the planet through programs that encourage sustainability. The North Face products are available at premium and specialty retail sporting goods stores globally and we are headquartered in California on a LEED Platinum-certified campus. For more information, please visit