Demand for ethical fashion is gaining global importance, with shoppers and retailers alike. High profile brands such as Chanel, Armani, Gucci and more recently, the Prada Group, have announced they will no longer use animal fur in designs or new products, while fellow brands have committed to end the use of exotic leather or to only use mulesed-free wool.
These commitments demonstrate a global demand for animal-friendly practises in fashion.
Closer to home, a 2019 YouGov opinion poll commissioned by animal protection organisation FOUR PAWS Australia revealed that only 55% of Australians are aware of animal cruelty in the fashion industry, but of those that did know, 93% were concerned about the animals used within at least one fashion category.
The survey of over 1,000 people found Australians are concerned about animal welfare in industries that supply items directly for the fashion industry, specifically fur (75% surveyed reported concern), exotic leather such as crocodiles and snakes (66%), domestic leather such as cows and sheep (55%), down (54%) and the wool industry (39%).
“The opinion poll results demonstrate the need for the fashion industry to make animal protection a priority, not just for the animals, but for the industry as a whole,” says Elise Burgess, Head of Communications at FOUR PAWS Australia.
“Animal protection is no longer a side-line issue and we’re determined to ensure animals aren’t left behind in the ethical fashion movement.”
To lead progressive change for animals FOUR PAWS Australia has launched its Wear It Kind campaign.
FOUR PAWS will work collaboratively with brands to ensure they take responsibility for the protection of animals used within their supply chains, while raising the level of awareness about animal cruelty in fashion.
“Many people aren’t aware of the depths of horrific suffering being caused to animals for our clothing.”
“Until now, it has not been transparent about where clothing comes from, and from the poll results we know that 60% of Australians feel transparency is important to help ensure animal welfare”.
FOUR PAWS is calling on people to pledge to Wear It Kind and commit to avoiding mulesed sheep wool, fur, exotic leather and down from live-plucked ducks and geese.
“By signing the pledge, people will be showing their support for fashion to protect animals, humans and the planet, while committing to help tackle some of the most pressing animal protection issues in fashion,” says Elise.
Some major brands are already making headway in this space, with proactive animal welfare policies already being announced by H&M and ASOS, with more on the horizon. However, more brands need to take these steps if we want to see widespread change for animals.
In addition to asking people to Wear It Kind, this year FOUR PAWS helped to review the renewed Good On You animal welfare scoring system. Good On You has an easy-to-use app that, through a unique rating system, gives the user fashion brand ratings, fashion news, tips and more. FOUR PAWS also encourages consumers to download the app as an easy resource for finding compassionate and forward-thinking brands.
“Shoppers are increasingly seeking ethical fashion options, and it’s clear that animal welfare is a key concern. Issues like mulesing and fur farming continue to be top of mind for many people,” says Gordon Renouff, Co-Founder at Good On You.
It is also becoming easier, by the day, for people to embrace top quality fabrics and production techniques that aren’t cruel to animals in the process.
The campaign builds upon FOUR PAWS’ 30-year history working to improve animal welfare within the textiles industry, and FOUR PAWS Australia’s role as the Australian representative of the Fur Free Retailer program.
People can take the pledge to ‘Wear It Kind’ by visiting www.wearitkind.org.
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