12 MAY 2017, UNITED STATES – The global leader in branded lifestyle apparel VF Corporation, that includes major brands as The North Face, Timberland and Vans, will no longer use materials of extreme animal cruelty such as fur, angora or exotic leather. After working together with Fur Free Alliance members The HSUS, HSI and LAV, the VF Corporation has released its first animal welfare policy, which not only bans some of the cruelest materials used in the apparel supply chain, but makes clear that animal-friendly alternatives are the future of fashion.
Letitia Webster, VF’s Vice President of Global Corporate Sustainability said:
“As we continue to promote the development of viable commercial substitutes to animal materials, this policy will help to ensure that the materials we use today are procured from sources that prioritize animal welfare and responsible business practices.”
VF has also banned down feathers from force-fed, live-plucked geese and wool from sheep who are subjected to the particularly cruel practice of “mulesing,” a procedure in which farmers pull strips of wool-bearing skin off sheep without painkillers.
PJ Smith, manager of fashion policy for The HSUS, says:
“The Humane Society of the United States applauds VF for demonstrating compassionate leadership in the apparel and footwear industries. This robust policy sets a bar to which others in the industry should aspire.”
There has been a trend within the fashion industry in recent years of switching to humane alternatives. Last year, Armani announced it would go fur-free. Brands and designers like Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Stella McCartney, and Ralph Lauren have also disassociated themselves from animal cruelty and switched to cruelty-free alternatives that are indistinguishable from the real thing. The HSUS and HSI continue to talk with companies to point them toward the humane economy, and today’s announcement is one of the most important.
Simone Pavesi, Animal Free Fashion Division Manager at LAV, adds:
“This innovative Animal Derived Materials Policy and VF Corp’s commitment to further improvements towards animal-free fashion is a major milestone that can not be ignored by the fashion world. LAV is happy to have made a small contribution to achieving this goal”.
4 DECEMBER 2016 – Popular Estonian brands Reval Denim Guild and GUILD have joined the international Fur Free Retailer program and are now part of an increasing number of designers, fashion houses, clothing chains and stores that are neither producing nor selling any products made out of real fur.
Joan Hint, the creator and art director of Reval Denim Guild and GUILD, says:
“We joined the program, because we value ethical production. We joined, because it is time to show that we care. It is time for all of us to stand for what is right. How else can we change the world for the better?” s
By establishing fur-free principles, Reval Denim Guild joins other famous high-end brands and store chains like Armani, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Stella McCartney, H&M, Esprit, Lindex, Etnies, O’Neill and others. From Estonia, Aus Design OÜ, WÖÖ, Kalle HT, KÄT, Perit Muuga, Mari Design and TUUB have joined the program. The representative of the Fur Free Retailer program in Estonia is NGO animal advocacy organization Loomus.
ITALY, 29 NOVEMBER 2016 – OVS, Italian’s leading clothing brand with over 800 stores in Italy and worldwide, will no longer use animal fur. The popular brand came out this week with a public statement to drop fur from its future collections. OVS worked together with LAV (Italian Animal Rights group) and is now part of the international Fur Free Retailer Program.
LAV: ‘This decision taken by the historic clothing brand will help to save millions of animals.’
OVS, that has already abandoned the use of animal fur in its collections, has signed the fur-free statement in collaboration with LAV and the Fur Free Alliance to reflect their ambition to protect and respect animals and the environment.
The animal friendly policy of OVS covers all of the products within the company’s brands; OVS, OVS kids, UPIM and Blukids. OVS is now committed to the Fur Free Retailer international standards (specifically committing to replace animal furs) and to Animal Free Fashion (the first fashion rating, developed by LAV attaches value to Social Responsibility policies on materials of animal origin that a company agrees not to use: V no fur; VV no fur or feathers; VVV no fur, feathers, leather or silk; VVV+ no fur, feathers, leather, silk or wool). Simone Pavesi, the LAV Animal Free Fashion Division Manager, says:
‘The decision taken by OVS Ltd to stop using animal fur, is a choice that is in line with the Sustainable Development policies that every fashion company should assume – And having made a public announcement, this decision must be taken as a commitment to society about the company’s environmental impact. This announcement from OVS Ltd will contribute significantly to the lives of millions of animals: another important reason to choose their products’
LAV and the Fur Free Alliance are glad with the public statement of OVS against the exploitation of animals for their fur, an opinion shared by the majority of Italians, which is confirmed every year by Eurispes (Institute of Political, Economic and Social Studies).
VILNIUS, 24 NOVEMBER 2016 – This month it was hard to ignore a striking, creative anti-fur poster campaign on the streets of Lithuanian capital Vilnius. The poster campaign – an initiative of Fur Free Alliance member organization Tusti Narvai (Open Cages) – ran for 3 weeks and was spread throughout the city center. Lithuania has a relatively large fur industry – of 2 million animals killed for fur each year – even though a majority of 67% of the Lithuanian population is against fur farming.
Tusti Narvai conducted a new opinion poll on fur farming during the last week of the poster campaign that showed a 9% increase of the number of citizens that do not support fur farming. Compared to 58% in May this year, now a majority of 67% expressed their opinion that breeding and killing wild animals for fur is unacceptable.
POLAND, 20 SEPTEMBER 2016 – LPP – the biggest clothing company in Poland, managing brands Reserved, Tallinder, Mohito, Cropp, House and Sinsay, resigned from the use of natural furs. Starting with the season autumn/winter 2016, the collections of all 6 brands will be completely free from this material. This decision was influenced by the expectations of consumers for whom animal rights are becoming increasingly important. LPP thus joined the international Fur Free Retailer campaign.
The LPP network manages almost 1,700 stores located not only in Poland, but also, among other things, in Central and Eastern Europe, Germany and the United Arab Emirates. The Company is present in a total of 18 countries around the world.
The decision to join the Fur-Free Retailer campaign concerns all brands belonging to the company. This means that their collections will never include any natural fur, in any form, also as accessories and winter coat trims. The Company signed an agreement on the matter with the Open Cages Association. Marta Chlewicka, the spokeswoman at LP, says:
‘Considering the increasing awareness of the issue of animal rights and expectations of our customers in this area as well as the challenges of reducing the impact that our activities have on the environment, we decided to abandon the use of natural fur in the offer all our brands. Therefore, whenever the designer’s vision and the current trend require the use of fur, just as some of our market competitors, our brand will make use of the highest quality synthetic materials. The decision to abandon the use of natural fur is another important step, the effect of which is increased transparency of the supply chain through the conscious choice of materials used to manufacture our collections.’
The trend towards resignation from natural fur is becoming more and more visible. More than 300 companies and designers have already joined the Fur-Free Retailer campaign. The most popular among them include Zara, Topshop, H&M, COS, Marks & Spencer and Asos, and most recently Hugo Boss and Armani resigned from fur. Anyone who joins the campaign signs a written undertaking not to sell fur and fur accessories. Małgorzata Szadkowska, coordinator of the international Fur Free Retailer campaign, adds:
‘LPP has just showed that modern fashion can do without animal fur. I think that if the biggest clothing company in Central and Eastern Europe can make a written undertaking in this regard and thereby stand in one line with other global clothing giants, this is a clear message addressed to those fashion companies that still exploit animals. The future of fashion is new technologies, and not closing the animals in small wire cages.’
LPP SA, a company listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange since 2001, is one of the fastest growing clothing companies in the region of Central and Eastern Europe. For over 20 years, the company has consistently carried out its operations in Poland and abroad, being successful on the demanding clothing market. LPP SA manages six fashion brands: Reserved, Tallinder, Cropp, House, Mohito, and Sinsay. The company has a network of almost 1,700 stores and creates jobs for more than 22 thousand people in its offices and sales structures in Poland, Europe, Asia and Africa. LPP SA invests and acquires new markets. In 2015, the company opened e.g. its first stores in the Middle East. In 2014, the company advanced to WIG20 stock exchange index, which generates a significant part of the turnover on the WSE, and is listed on the prestigious MSCI Poland index.
21 july 2016 – O bag, the famous Italian fashion handbag brand has, in agreement with the Fur Free Alliance, announced its commitment to completely abandon the use of animal fur in its products.
The O bag autumn collection will be showcasing a major new feature: instead of real fur, the interchangeable handles, straps, trims and inner bags of the O bag, the O basket and the O pocket, will be made of top quality eco-fur. Michele Zanella, director-general of Full Spot, explains:
“As of autumn-winter 2016/2017 the O bag collections will be entirely fur free. This is a huge step for our company and testifies as to our tangible commitment towards animal welfare. Our choice stems from a strong request on the part of some of our customers that, though they love our bags, weren’t comfortable with the use of certain materials. Our customers come first and that is why we always listen to what they have to say. It’s word-of-mouth that made the success of O bag, alongside a continuous dialogue with our customers and the collective sharing of personal experience.”
Through the Italian member organisation of the Fur Free Alliance LAV, O bag has signed the Fur Free Alliance protocol. O bag has thus pledged not to use any type of animal fur whatsoever in its future collections, including fur that comes from the food sector (such as rabbit fur for example).
Simone Pavesi, head of LAV’s Animal Free Fashion department, says:
“O bag is a symbol of Italian creativity and its designer products, from watches to bags to bracelets and glasses, and now shoes as well, all made from innovative materials, delight customers around the world. This decision has been long-awaited and reinforces the mission LAV has set for itself to promote ethical, responsible and sustainable fashion that doesn’t exploit animals”
With its decision O bag responds to its customers’ request: according to a recent report commissioned by LAV in 6 European countries (Italy, Germany, the UK and Poland) consumers that regularly buy animal friendly products account for at least 12% of fashion items consumers, a number that is highly like to increase.
To ensure its commitment to a fur-free policy, O bag has pledged to demand that its suppliers provide the adequate certifications ensuring the absence of animal-based materials. As it is not possible to withdraw items from its previous collections that contain real fur from the market, these items will still be sold until they run out.