Our Focus on Supporting Our Communities
We recognize that a meaningful social responsibility program includes initiatives that ensure the well-being of the factory workers who craft our products. By empowering these workers with the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about their health, careers, and work environments, we do our best to strengthen the communities from which our products and materials are sourced. Our partnerships with industry organizations, service providers, and other retailers also help make a positive, sustainable impact through a variety of innovative programs.
Providing education and skills
In coordination with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), we provide funding for HERproject (Health Enables Returns), a program that educates factory workers on general and reproductive health issues, with a focus on HIV/AIDS prevention in China. HERproject participants have shown significant improvements in their knowledge of HIV/AIDS infection and prevention. Learn more about HERproject.
Factory Worker Professional Development
Factory Worker Professional Development acknowledges the evolution of the Chinese labor force. The program bridges the gap between factory workers seeking enhanced career skills—but without access to relevant training—and managers who wish to attract and retain skilled employees—but whose primary focus is on survival in the ultra-competitive business environment.
Over time, we have observed that many complaints from factory workers relate in some way to their factory's canteen operation. The Canteen Project gives workers a voice in the selection and preparation of their food, provides education on nutrition, and introduces the concept of increased worker participation in factory administration.
Verité Van Training
Nordstrom partners with Verité, an independent auditing, training and research organization, to raise awareness on the practical concerns of big-city living for young factory workers from rural hometowns. We've facilitated mobile training sessions with Verité to provide workers in China and India basic education on life skills, women's health, HIV/AIDS, and sexual harassment. The training ensures that workers acquire skills to help them in their everyday lives while improving factory morale.
Highlighting factory workers' role
From concept to sale, we recognize that many hands touch our products. The Human Connection is an initiative that highlights the critical role factory workers play in product development. Through visual media, this initiative makes a positive connection between each factory worker's efforts and a consumer across the globe who ultimately feels beautiful as a result of that hard work.
Helping farmers grow sustainable fibers
Our support of organic cotton organizations is part of our goal to increase the percentage of organic cotton used in our private-label merchandise and available for use by our branded vendors. We are currently partnering with the Textile Exchange (formerly Organic Exchange) to aid farmers in Africa who grow organic cotton.
The Textile Exchange is a non-profit organization committed to expanding the global market for sustainable fibers—with a core focus on organic cotton. Part of the Textile Exchange's—and our—long-term goal is to reduce the negative impact of textile production on people and the environment.