The Korea Herald


[Herald Interview] Fila looks to long-term growth through ESG efforts

By Lee Yoon-seo

Published : May 4, 2023 - 15:20

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Gene Yoon, chairman of Fila Holdings & Acushnet Holdings (Herald DB) Gene Yoon, chairman of Fila Holdings & Acushnet Holdings (Herald DB)

The century-old Italian-South Korean sportswear brand Fila is vying for long-term growth by establishing global consistency in its businesses, chiefly by incorporating ESG values into its operations across the world, according to the firm's chairman.

Gene Yoon, chairman of Fila Holdings & Acushnet Holdings, said during an online interview Thursday that Fila will be putting in all efforts to prepare a solid foundation for the company's long-term growth by undertaking more concrete ESG-related policies and work ethics. Yoon acquired the global Fila business via a leveraged buyout in 2007 after founding Fila Korea in 1991.

"We aim to be transparent with our stakeholders in every part of our governance structure, while pursuing sustainable growth," said Yoon.

During the interview, Yoon said he launched a five-year plan for the company last year to achieve Fila's financial and operational aspirations.

Dubbed "Winning Together," the plan concentrates on having Fila reestablish brand value as a premium lifestyle sports brand -- mainly by striving to connect with customers through diverse points of contact, both online and offline, and organizing a brand tribe by integrating product and marketing initiatives on a global scale.

"It is crucial that we pursue these objectives through sustainable management practices, (and) ensuring our commitment to both financial and social responsibility," he said.

According to Fila Korea, Fila had already set in motion its transition to a ESG-oriented company by becoming the country's first fashion company to be included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, or a family of indices evaluating the sustainability performance of global companies -- by using recycled materials in manufacturing its products and expanding the use of sustainable products such as recyclable and biodegradable materials in shoes and clothing.

In addition to its ESG efforts, in preparation for global economic uncertainties, Yoon added that Fila is also aiming to diversify its business areas and supply chains, while proactively seeking for new business opportunities at the same time.

"As with any corporation, I think Fila recognizes the impact of global economic challenges," said Yoon, when asked about Fila's plans regarding the challenges the company is facing in continuing Fila as a global brand.

"(However,) we will continue to innovate and attract top talents, all while upholding our mission of making a positive impact with our vision 'Winning Together'," he said.