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 40 animal protection organisations.
As a Fur Free Retailer, VF is reinforcing its commitment to fur-free products and communicating its no-fur policy, which covers the group's more than 20 brands, including Vans®, The North Face®, Timberland®, Wrangler®, Lee®, Napapijri®, and Smartwool®. 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.
Of the many animal protection organisations 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 organisation Lega Antivivisezione (LAV) and FOUR PAWS to shape its global animal welfare policies and strategies.
“In joining the Fur Free Retailer program, 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 where possible.”
Letitia Webster, VF Vice President of Global Corporate Responsibility
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 the elimination of animal-derived materials where possible.
- Amongst the company’s portfolio of brands, VF’s 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 performance. Its entire Autumn/Winter 2017 collection is proudly 100 percent down- and fur-free.
- In 2014, 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.
- VF’s Timberland® brand partnered with other footwear brands, tanneries and retailers in 2005 to form the Leather Working Group 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 brand has set a goal to reach 100 percent by 2020.
“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.”
Thomas Pietsch, FOUR PAWS Wild Animal Expert
Joh Vinding, Chairman of Fur Free Retailer program, said: “We're delighted to welcome VF Corporation as a partner to the Fur Free Retailer program. 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.”
Interested consumers can learn which companies and brands are members of the Fur Free Retailer program by visiting www.furfreeretailer.com.
FOUR PAWS is an international animal protection organisation with headquarters in Vienna, Austria. Founded by Heli Dungler in 1988, the organisation strives to help animals in need through work which is based on substantiated research and scientific expertise, as well as national and international lobbying. FOUR PAWS focuses on animals who suffer under human influence: stray animals, animals used in fashion, companion animals, wild animals and farmed animals.
With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Kosovo, Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA and Vietnam, FOUR PAWS aims to help animals in need directly and quickly.