Our capabilities for worldwide procurement and sourcing enable us to deliver to our customers competitive and high quality goods at an attractive value and on a timely basis. We have established a global supply chain that can adjust with our evolving business needs and in response to changes in the geopolitical environment. Our factory base is diverse and our extensive established network of worldwide sourcing partners enables us to meet our customers' needs in an efficient manner without relying on any one vendor or factory or on vendors or factories in any one country. We also operate a network of wholesale and retail distribution centers that we believe has sufficient capacity to accommodate planned growth, as well as additional brands we may license or acquire.
We continue to explore new areas of production that can grow with our businesses. Our country of origin strategy provides a flexible approach to product sourcing, which enables us to maximize regional opportunities and mitigate our potential exposure to risks associated with new duties, tariffs, surcharges, or other import controls or restrictions. While China remains an important sourcing region for us, we have reduced our exposure to the region over time by growing our sourcing base in other parts of Asia, as well as Africa. Many of these efforts have been with our existing factory partners. Additionally, we began producing goods in Ethiopia in 2017 through a joint venture. Products produced by the joint venture are mainly sold in the United States by our Heritage Brands business. Through the manufacturing facility in Ethiopia, we are able to produce products at a cost advantage, while also maintaining a strong commitment to corporate responsibility.
We are continuing to develop strategies that can enhance the operational efficiency of our supply chain and unlock gross margin opportunities. For example, we are taking steps to leverage data and consumer insights into our supply chain. We have been a first mover in regard to 3D design capabilities, which reduce our lead times, improve our planning abilities and eliminate the need for samples early in the design process. Speed is another critical focus area across PVH. We have implemented various speed models, core replenishment and read and react capabilities for select categories to enhance our operations and make our business model more dynamic and responsive, while also increasing service levels, reducing inventory exposure and improving quality and consumer value.
We have also been increasing our collaboration with “next generation” vendors, with whom we have long-term relationships and collaborate on the research and development of new technologies, fabrications and product features. We believe the enhancement of our supply chain efficiencies and working capital management through the effective use of our distribution network and overall infrastructure will allow us to better control costs and provide improved service to our customers.
We are committed to the health, safety and well-being of the workers throughout our supply chain, while also preserving the environment and producing high-quality products. We recently announced the next evolution of our global Corporate Responsibility (“CR”) strategy – Forward Fashion – which is our vision for the future, setting a new level of ambition and transparency for CR, and reinforcing our long-standing commitment to sustainable business. As part of our new CR strategy, we unveiled 15 priorities for us to combat climate change, safeguard water resources, address waste and hazardous chemicals, ensure worker safety and provide development programs to women in our supply chain. Please click here to learn more about CR at PVH.
We are committed to the health, safety and well-being of the workers throughout our supply chain and to the integrity of our products.