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. 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 always on a mission to build 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.

Invest in mental wellbeing

Creativity and self-expression is key to sustaining mental wellbeing. By launching Vans Checkerboard Day, we encourage individuals and communities to share the creative outlets that help them cope with the stressors that impact on their mental health. In 2020, people shared TikTok videos of their passions to raise awareness of the importance of creativity in sustaining young people’s mental health.

In addition to this, Vans donated $1 million USD to support 10 charities from around the world whose shared purpose was to use programs focused on creativity as resources for coping with the stressors that impact mental health and well-being. Customers also got involved in supporting these charities by purchasing a limited-edition Vans Checkerboard Day t-shirt or pair of Custom Authentics designed by artist Geoff McFetridge.

By encouraging young people to express their creativity and donating $100,000 USD from The Vans Checkerboard Fund to each of these 10 charities we shared our commitment to improve the mental health and wellbeing of youth across the globe.

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 pros 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.

In addition, we launched Vanguards in 2019 as an exploration of how style, individuality, and creativity shape skateboarding through the stories of powerhouse female riders. Ride along with team pros Lizzie Armanto, Brighton Zeuner, Yndiara Asp and Mami Tezuka as they put their signatures on a new movement in skate culture. It’s one where doing your own thing is more important than doing the same thing.

From mega-moves in Japan to coveted curb combinations in California, these four originals are the definition of one-of-a-kind for the win.

Style, Creativity and Skateboarding Their Own Way

Style, Creativity and Skateboarding Their Own Way

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. Although he recently passed away, 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.

To celebrate the black voices, artists, thinkers and trailblazers that shape every generation, we’ve partnered with some of the best creative minds as part of Black History Month. In 2020, we partnered with four Black artists to showcase their creative work. Artists Rewina Beshue, Chris Martin, Sydney James and Tony Whlgn created exclusive artwork that was released as part of our Customs range.

To help push culture forward and pave the way for generations to come, we also donated $40,000 USD to the Black Art Futures Fund. This charity amplifies and strengthens the future of black art by funding small and community-based organisations across the country. Plus, thanks to our Vans Family members, we reached our goal of five million points and donated an additional $25,000. 

By showcasing minority voices and uplifting their creative work, we aim to celebrate and promote the message of unity and equality, not just for today but for the future too.

Support small businesses

Having started out as a small business, we’re committed to supporting the community that helped us to become who we are. The Foot the Bill campaign started in 2020 with the aim of enabling creative expression and lending a hand to our Vans Family.  By partnering with local and community driven skate shops, restaurants, art galleries and music venues, we aimed to give them essential help during the difficulties of the COVID-19 crisis.

Working with these partners, we pledge our support by selling their custom designed Vans footwear through our Customs platform. The net proceeds from each pair went directly to our small business partners to help them continue their essential work. By lending a hand to our Vans Family, we ensure that they can continue expressing their creativity, something which was essential to our own growth and success.

Sustainable development for the win

We fully recognize that we must protect the planet and its valuable resources for future generations. Our sustainability programme works overtime 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. In the United States, we just launched Green Sole Operations to reduce our impact.

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 accounts 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.

Together, let’s help across the board.

Our social responsibility efforts don’t stop here. Reusable bags and empowering kids? It’s a thing.  We’ve partnered with Skate-Aid to empower young people around the world in the context of youth aid, sport, culture, and international understanding. For each reusable bag you purchase in-store, we donate 1€ to skate-aid for a better and brighter tomorrow.

This means that when you shop sustainably, you’re not just helping the planet, but you’re also building the futures of vulnerable young skaters from around the world. From Namibia to Syria, you’ll help support kids and teenagers in their self-determined development with the pedagogical power of skateboarding. New gear & international aid? Talk about a win-win.

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.