Building a Better World

Today we are featuring a guest blog post by Monica Gorman, Senior Director of Corporate Responsibility & International Trade Compliance at AE.

Some kids want to be a movie star or a race car driver when they grow up. I wanted to be Secretary of State.

Crazy, I know. But I grew up in an immigrant family short on cash and long on dreams – especially that quintessential American dream that if you work hard and have a positive attitude, you just might become someone who makes a difference in this world.

Today, I lead the Corporate Responsibility team at American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. It’s not the State Department, but it’s not as different as you might think. One big lesson I’ve learned is that companies have a huge impact on people’s lives all over the world. Whether that impact is good or bad depends a lot on the choices we make as we do business.

That’s why I love what I do.

I work with a team of extraordinary people who have dedicated their careers to making this world a better place. Every day, the AEO Corporate Responsibility team visits factories, talks with people who make our clothes, thinks about how to reduce our impact on the environment, and brainstorms with people in organizations who share our goals. We grapple with economic, social, and political issues facing the apparel industry from Dhaka to Delhi, Shanghai to Hanoi, Guatemala City to Washington, DC.

Over the years, you’ve told us that you’re passionate about these issues too, which is a major reason why we created our first-ever Corporate Responsibility Report – AE Better World. You’ll find a ton of information about how we’re working to improve factories and help the environment, what it’s like to work at AEO, and how we invest in our community.

If you’ve never seen a website like this before, you might be surprised by our open, candid tone. We’ve been pretty honest about the challenges we face and what we’re doing to address them.

The good news is some of the best companies in the world have similar websites. In fact, we believe one of the most effective ways to make progress is by working with our peers in the industry.

So take a look. Ask questions. Let us know what you think. We hope that this will be the beginning of a conversation of ideas – ideas that will help us all live our lives in a better world.

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