Tapestry, the New York City-based parent company of Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman, announced a series of equity and environmental actions on Wednesday, as well as the creation of a new foundation focused on access and opportunity.
The fashion house is committing $25 million to establish the Tapestry Foundation, which will be matched with an equal contribution from the Coach Foundation to overtake certain responsibilities related to its social and environmental goals. It is also raising its minimum wage for store employees to $15 per hour, effective September 5, 2021, and will grant a one-time appreciation bonus of $500 and $1,000, respectively, to store associates and managers who do not otherwise participate in Tapestry’s annual incentive plans.
“This purpose work has been so meaningful in our organization to provide that North Star for our business,” Tapestry CEO Joanne Crevoiserat told FN in an interview. “It’s why we exist as a company.”
The announcement comes as companies across industries are paying more attention to environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) practices. Consumers and investors today have high expectations for corporations to meet sustainability goals, advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace and be more transparent about their environmental impacts and progress toward equity targets. In recent months, retailers including Kohl’s, Caleres and Neiman Marcus have likewise shared ESG reports and unveiled new goals.
“It’s not just about setting goals, but it’s about the actions that you take,” Crevoiserat said.
Among Tapestry’s commitments are a promise to procure 100% renewable electricity in its stores, offices, and fulfillment centers by 2025 and a doubling of its previous 2025 goal to provide factory workers access to empowerment programs, from 50,000 to 100,000 people. It will also tie 10% of annual incentive compensation for its corporate leadership to equity, inclusion and diversity goals to hold executives accountable for fostering a more inclusive culture.
To track this progress, Crevoiserat said the company has developed DEI “scorecards” that measure goals such as the increase of BIPOC representation among leaders.
“We know that diverse teams perform better,” she said. “We value diversity in our teams and in leadership.”
The one-time bonus for store employees will be offered to associates and managers who were employed as of March 31, 2021; it, along with the starting-wage bump, comes at a time when retailers are trying new tactics to hire and retain talent amid an ongoing labor shortage.