Embrace social responsibility and sustainability with Vans

We are a people company. Supporting our local communities has always lived at the core of everything we do. With you by our side, we can celebrate the ‘Off The Wall’ attitude for a better tomorrow, today. 

We live to enable creative expression and inspire youth culture to have a positive impact on society. Whether we’re donating our time or money, we work 24/7 to provide wider access to creativity through action sports, art, music and street culture, as part of our commitment to inspire youth culture, we recognize our responsibility to protect the planet for future generations. Read on to discover the social and environmental causes we believe in and how we’re creating an inclusive community in the world of skateboarding. 

Tap into your creativity today for a better tomorrow

As we empower the next generation to tackle life off the wall, we’re working to build a safe space for you to express yourself—all day, every day. Whether we’re building partnerships, volunteering or empowering employees, we’re committed to building a better world.

We firmly believe that access to creativity through a variety of platforms can have a profound impact on society. We go beyond stating our mission—we stand by it. Keeping corporate citizenship in mind, we’re giving back to our community in several key ways: 

  • Uplifting marginalized voices

  • Embracing corporate accountability

  • Providing wider access to skateboarding worldwide

  • Setting the standard for competition equality

  • Donating our time and money to causes we believe in

Trade chequebooks for checkerboards 

When we talk about checkerboards it’s not about the most money at Vans—it’s about the most meaning. Social good remains at the forefront of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. We’re always seeking to expand our donation efforts to support local organisations and major causes that we relate to.

From racial justice to suicide prevention, we’re not afraid to put our money where our soul is. Whether we’re offering in-kind donations or just volunteering our time, there is a wide world out there of people that could use a hand. When implementing CSR initiatives, we are committed to improving the quality of life of those we love.

Matter is the minimum

 

Female power on repeat

Vans is an inclusive brand by nature. We always aim to introduce diverse perspectives into our most cherished sport—skateboarding. From online panels to video content, we’re proud to support the growth of skateboarding through the lens of female athletes. We’re always into sharing a unique set of stories through creativity.

Girls Skate India is committed to showcasing diversity in the sport. Featuring Vans team riders Lizzie Armanto and Atita Verghese, this series captures the profound power skate culture can have on a community. We’re committed to mobilizing women and girls around the world to embrace skateboarding, grow within themselves, and contribute to their community.

Skaters watching skate park

 

In 2019, we launched Vanguards, an exploration of how style, individuality, and creativity shape skateboarding through the stories of powerhouse female riders. Ride along with team riders Lizzie Armanto, Brighton Zeuner, Yndiara Asp and Mami Tezuka as they put their signatures on a new movement in skate culture.

From mega-moves in Japan to coveted curb combinations in California, the 4 original stories of our Vanguards highlight the belief that paving your own way through self-expression and creativity is more important than doing the same thing.

 

Take pride in our community 24/7

Now more than ever, a message of unity and equality must be told. All voices of the LGBTQ+ community deserve to be heard, and we’re committed to making sure they can be. Our Vans family stand with you and will continue to be a part of that change. 

From creative content to in-kind donations, we’ve done our best to contribute to the cause in any way we can. In commemoration of Pride Month 2020, we launched Jeff Grosso’s Loveletters to Skateboarding: LGBTQ+ Episodes

This 5-part series hosted on Vans’ YouTube Channel was built to highlight the pioneers for the LGBTQ+ skate community. It talks about their challenges, and how they made skateboarding better for a brighter future. The primary goal for Love Notes was to take responsibility for the past and work towards a brighter tomorrow. 

Jeff Grosso, legendary skater and beloved host, was a champion for inclusive skateboarding around the world. While Jeff passed away in 2020, he said this LGBTQ+ series of Loveletters were the episodes he was most proud of in 11 years of the show. Together, we can continue his legacy.

 

Plus, to celebrate Pride Month 2020, we also donated $50,000 to GSA Network, an LGBTQ+ organization that unites trans and queer youth for racial and gender justice. 

Sustainable development for the win

We fully recognize that we must protect the planet and its valuable resources for future generations. The cornerstone of our sustainability programme is to reduce the environmental footprint of our operations, products or services. 

When it comes to society and the environment, we are made for change. In fact, we’re on a mission to reduce waste, water use and fossil fuels from our distribution centres and retail stores around the world.

Off The Wall community team

 

Our office, distribution centres and retail stores draw millions of customers in per year (not to mention millions of square feet). But our operational footprint represents less than 10% of our total environmental impact. 

The products we create account for more than 90% of our negative impacts. To reduce our carbon footprint and fully embrace the concept of sustainability, we must change the way we create products. From packaging to natural resource materials, we are committed to embracing environmental protection in the long term. 

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This year, we'll Foot The Bill

It's no secret that this year's been a little different to say the least. That's why we launched a new program called Foot The Bill to assist the creative communities of our extended Vans family in this incredibly challenging time. With you by our side, we can all come together to uplift our local business that are at the core of what we do. 

Go ahead, try out our Custom Vans platform and design your own favourite shoe. In addition to some sick new kicks, you’ll directly support the people who enable global creative expression all day, every day.

Foot the Bill

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From Grand Rapids to Newport Beach, we are committed to supporting at least 80 local businesses. So far, we've raised over $4 million USD for small business owners who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. The best part? By shopping with our partners, you score some epic footwear while helping out those in need. Talk about a win-win.

Can't get enough of these one-of-a-kind designs? No worries, there's definitely some major plans for Foot The Bill moving forward. We've got your back (and your board) every step of the way. Stay tuned!

Checkerboard Day? Bring it on.

2021 has been full of surprises. One thing that’s keeping us steady? The best day of the year: Checkerboard Day. We launched the Vans Checkerboard Day Charity Auction to champion and inspire creative expression around the world. Together, we can all explore our own creativity and give back to the organizations that help us express ourselves through the arts, action sports, and all things "off the wall."

The Checkerboard Fund is a global grant that gives some major money to organisations that enable self-expression for the win. $1 million was donated to the non-profit imagination.org on Vans Checkerboard Day 2019. This incredible feat was made possible by supporters like you. This year? We’re planning to keep that momentum going big time. 

We want our fans to tap into bold activations, experience the how and the why behind creative expression, and give back to the organisations we love that support you just being you.

Vans Checkerboard marker pen

2020 was an epic year for Checkerboard. Keep an eye out for big plans in 2021. LEARN MORE

Waffleheads are everywhere. (Spoiler alert: we’re into it.)

What are the Waffleheads? They are a killer group of collectors, customizers, and creatives who paved their own way in the world of footwear. Whether you’re an aspiring collector or an everyday fan, we can all learn a lesson from the Wafflehead mantra: perfect isn’t preferable. Go ahead, make it messy. 

The concept of Waffleheads expands on our signature "Off The Wall" ethos. This unique group of Vans collectors and customizers redefine sneaker culture by making every single pair totally their own. From flea markets to fabric paint, our community of collectors aren't afraid to get their shoes dirty - and that's just the way we like it.

Vans store room

Pro tip: It just takes a pair to start a collection.

Every collection levels up self-expression to the max. We love that every one of you reflects our brand and the freedom it represents. Plus, you can "Meet the Waffleheads" and learn about the creative cultures that thrive around Vans style around the world. In our socially distant reality, we can kick it across oceans together. Who’s in?

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From skating your way through self-expression to supporting your local community, small actions really can improve the ability of future generations to implement change. Our athletes do not simply skate with our mission in mind—they live by it without fear. Join the Vans family today to pave your own path to a better world tomorrow.

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