VF Corporation, a global leader in branded lifestyle apparel, footwear and accessories, has joined the Fur Free Retailer program by partnering with the Fur Free Alliance, an international coalition of 43 animal protection organizations.
As a Fur Free Retailer, VF is reinforcing its commitment to fur free products and communicating its no fur policy, which covers its more than 20 brands, including Vans®, The North Face®, Timberland®, Wrangler®, Lee® and Napapijri®. VF released its first-ever Animal Derived Materials Policy earlier this year and announced that its brands would no longer use fur, angora or exotic leather.
The online Fur Free Retailer list, which can be found at www.furfreeretailer.com, provides consumers accurate information about a retailer’s fur policy, allowing them to make informed purchasing decisions.
“In joining the Fur Free Retailer program, VF and our brands are once again proving that we’re serious about animal welfare,” said Letitia Webster, Vice President of Global Corporate Sustainability at VF. “Sustainability and respect for nature are fundamental values for VF and all our brands, and we will continue to partner with respected animal-rights organizations and like-minded companies to promote the development of viable commercial substitutes to animal materials.”
Of the dozens of animal protection organizations that comprise the Fur Free Alliance and support the Fur Free Retailer program, VF has specifically worked with The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Italian animal rights organization LAV, and FOUR PAWS to shape its global animal welfare policies and strategies.
“We're delighted to welcome VF Corporation as a partner to the Fur Free Retailer program,” said Joh Vinding, Chairman of Fur Free Alliance. “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.”
VF and its brands have a proven track record of implementing policies and taking actions to ensure the humane treatment of animals throughout its supply chain and eliminating animal derived materials where possible.
- Amongst VF’s portfolio of brands, the Napapijri® brand is a pioneer in the fur free movement, first delivering on its no fur commitment in 2015. Exemplifying its “Make it Better” philosophy, the brand has taken innovative approaches to phase out animal derived materials while offering consumers products with enhanced technical performances. Its entire Autumn/Winter 2017 collection is 100 percent down and fur free.
- In 2014, VF’s The North Face®brand announced its Responsible Down Standard (RDS), a global standard through which any brand can evaluate and certify its complete down supply chain. The RDS was developed in partnership with Control Union and Textile Exchange, which now manages the program. To date, more than 80 other brands from the outdoor, apparel and home industries have initiated certification of their supply chains through the RDS. The North Face® uses 100 percent certified down across all product lines.
- 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 2016, 94 percent of the leather used in the brand’s apparel, footwear and accessories came from LWG Silver- or Gold-rated tanneries, and the Timberland® brand has set a goal to reach 100 percent by 2020.
Simone Pavesi, manager of Animal Free Fashion for LAV, said: “VF not only undertook a virtuous path of socially responsible policies but, with the fur free policy, also is conveying a strong message of cultural change by involving all its brands in this announcement. We are pleased to continue this important work with VF to reach new goals together. This is a victory for millions of animals.”
PJ Smith, Senior Manager of Fashion Policy for The Humane Society of the United States, said: “With VF leading the charge in innovation and compassion, a fur free future is starting to take shape. Consumers’ attitudes towards animal protection are getting stronger, and companies that create policies that reflect those values are well-positioned for the future.”
Thomas Pietsch, Wild Animal Expert of FOUR PAWS, said: “VF Corporation’s decision to join the Fur Free Retailer program is a milestone in the fashion industry. With this step towards more animal welfare, VF fulfills the needs of ethical-minded consumers and will inspire many leading fashion companies.”