11th December 2017


Fashion brand gives fur the cold shoulder

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The company behind Timberland and The North Face has reinforced its commitment to responsible practices by joining the Fur Free Retailer programme.

VF Corporation has partnered with the Fur Free Alliance, an international coalition of 43 animal protection organisations.

The firm which also lists Vans, Lee and Wrangler among its brands, released its first Animal Derived Materials Policy this year, announcing that it would no longer use fur, angora or exotic leather in its brands.

The online Fur Free Retailer list, which can be found at www.furfreeretailer.com, provides consumers with accurate information about a retailer’s fur policy.

Letitia Webster, vice president of global corporate sustainability at VF, said: “In joining the Fur Free Retailer programme, VF and our brands are once again proving that we’re serious about animal welfare.

“Sustainability and respect for nature are fundamental values for VF and all our brands, and we will continue to partner with respected animal-rights organisations and like-minded companies to promote the development of viable commercial substitutes to animal materials.”

VF has worked with The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Italian animal rights organisation LAV, and FOUR PAWS to form its global animal welfare policies and strategies.

Joh Vinding, chairman of Fur Free Alliance, said: “We’re delighted to welcome VF Corporation as a partner to the Fur Free Retailer programme.

“In the fur trade animals are subjected to terrible conditions, living out their lives in small barren cages. With the help of forward thinking and innovative companies such as VF Corporation this is quickly changing, making fur free the new norm in the entire fashion industry.”

The Timberland brand partnered with other footwear brands, tanneries and retailers in 2005 to form the Leather Working Group (LWG) to promote responsible practices within the leather industry. As of last year, 94 per cent of the leather used in the brand’s apparel, footwear and accessories came from LWG Silver- or Gold-rated tanneries, and the brand has set a goal to reach 100 per cent by 2020.

Thomas Pietsch, wild animal expert of FOUR PAWS, said: “VF Corporation’s decision to join the Fur Free Retailer programme is a milestone in the fashion industry. With this step towards more animal welfare, VF fulfils the needs of ethical-minded consumers and will inspire many leading fashion companies.”