Support for producers, brands and retailers

Alongside human rights and environmental protection, good animal welfare is a crucial component of ethical fashion.

Animal welfare issues and critical business risks can arise within any animal-based supply chain. Animals used by the textiles industry can be subjected to appalling living conditions and diets, painful mutilations, long term mental stress, poor breeding choices, and much more.

In today’s world, consumers care deeply about issues like these and therefore how brands value animals. In the New Normal, let’s ensure animal welfare becomes the third essential pillar of ethical fashion or what we prefer to call it, conscious fashion.


To assist woolgrowers, producers, and brands to adopt kinder choices for animals and their businesses, feel free to download our guidebooks and case studies of successful brands who have done these transitions. A new independent 2020 survey of 97 woolgrowers in Australia who successfully transitioned to plain-bodied Merino sheep is also now available.

For brands transitioning to or creating vegan product lines, FOUR PAWS recommends reviewing guidelines developed by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) to make sure that anything described as vegan is completely free of animal products.

To receive a copy of either of the FOUR PAWS tools, please register for a link to download.

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Feasibility study on transitioning to non-mulesed sheeps

A new independent survey of 97 woolgrowers across Australia shows producers achieving higher profitability, operational viability, and improvements on animal welfare after their transition to plain-bodied sheep. The report also includes 7 case studies to guide other sheep producers on their transition plan for a future without mulesing.

Key findings include:

  • 92% said improved animal welfare
  • 84% experienced an increased return on investment after their transition
  • 78% completed their transition to plain-bodied Merino sheeps within five years
  • World's first report finds fashion critically lagging on animal welfare

    New research from FOUR PAWS finds the fashion industry comes up short between what is said and what is delivered, with only 21% of brands tracing even a portion of animal-derived materials for animal welfare.

    FOUR PAWS has identified the essential first steps brands need to take, including the development of a comprehensive animal welfare policy.

    Policy development guidelines for animal welfare in textiles

    For brands choosing to continue using animal-derived materials, FOUR PAWS encourages the swift development or strengthening of existing animal welfare policies.

    These should include a robust vision, goals, and an implementation plan, all aimed at achieving the highest possible animal welfare standards.

    The FOUR PAWS policy development guidelines can assist brands in developing these essential animal protection plans.

    Transitioning away from mulesed wool:
    Guide on why & how

    Featuring interviews with brand sustainability managers who have already committed to moving away from mulesing, including fashion powerhouses H&M, Kathmandu and Espirit.

    This mulesing guidebook presents referenced information for brands on what mulesing is, why it’s happening, what the viable pain-free alternatives to managing flystrike are, an overview of the key wool assurance initiatives and a road-map as to how to transition away from mulesed wool within your supply chains.

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    Taking responsibility for the welfare of animals

    It’s clear that brands can strongly influence the way animals are cared for within their supply chains, and it’s crucial brands understand the welfare risks involved with using animal products, expectations of traceability, and how to implement effective animal protection policies.

    When taking such steps, companies can proactively demonstrate what they stand for, which practices they want to be identified with, and most importantly, their ability to leverage positive change for animals.

    FOUR PAWS is especially focusing our efforts on some of the most critical issues, including mulesing in the wool industry, the farming and trapping of wild animals for fur or exotic leather, as well as live-plucking and force-feeding ducks and geese. For more information, you can reach us via Together we can achieve an animal-friendly fashion future!

    P.S For Aussie brands, did you know that our Australian office is the official representative of the Fur Free Retailer program? If you’re interested in knowing more about how you can join the program and would like your brand to pledge to go fur-free, we’d love to hear from you!