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Four Paws: ‘Lack of meaningful action’ in animal welfare from brands

By Rachel Douglass


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Kendall Jenner in Stella McCartney Herbst 2023 Credits: Harley Weir

A new report by animal welfare organisation Four Paws has outlined that there is a “lack of meaningful action from most brands” when it comes to adopting policies that protect the rights of animals.

Now in its third edition, the Animal Welfare in Fashion report aims to cover brands across nine market segments, including sports and fast fashion, as it looks into where the industry needs to improve in order to address issues linked to animal welfare.

In the report, a ranking of 100 brands outlined those that put in the most effort, with the likes of Patagonia and Stella McCartney coming out on top, while Max Mara, Prada and Hermès were among the labels that had “failed to deliver”.

A total of 72 percent of the brands exhibited animal welfare policies, yet many were found to have “lacked real impact for animals”, with much of their strategies aimed at the use of certified materials and not specifically the standards of animal welfare.

In a release for the report, Ranny Rustam, animal welfare in textiles research lead at Four Paws, said: “While ensuring adequate care of animals used is crucial to any claims of responsible business, brands are still generally washing their hands of animals’ needs, while others attempt to ‘welfare-wash’ over consumer concerns.

“Thankfully some companies are increasingly demonstrating leadership in animal welfare, and our research in 2023 does bring some hope – but a monumental step forward by the industry is needed before consumers can start to feel confident about the welfare of animals used to make their cosy knits and down jackets.”

Other figures also showed the rates in which certifications were being adopted. While mohair certification rose 27 percent and cashmere rose 7, certified wool and down both made up less than 5 percent of the global supply.

It was further highlighted that material production and processing are responsible for up to 70 percent of the industry’s carbon emissions, with Four Paws calling on brands to reduce the usage of materials from high emitters of GHGs to aid in lowering their impact.

Animal Rights
Four Paws