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”.