Animal protection is a critical component of ethical fashion. Fashion owes a huge debt to animals but, unfortunately for our furry, feathered and finned friends, most brands don’t know much about animal welfare in their supply chains. But this is changing…
Ever heard of mulesing?
Widely used across the Australian wool industry, the mutilation practice of mulesing causes intense suffering and pain for millions of lambs annually.
Many major brands have committed to only sourcing mules-free wool, due to animal welfare concerns, and FOUR PAWS advocates for an end to mulesing.
Over 150 million animals are killed for their fur annually. Most animals are raised on fur farms, trapped in tiny wire cages and forced to endure a shocking life of cruelty, while millions of wild animals are caught and killed for their fur using wire snares and body gripping, foothold, and leghold traps.
Yet the tide is turning, with over 1,000 brands, fashion shows and labels now officially banning fur.
Exotic animal farms and leather industries are booming. The conditions these animals face are generally appalling, with extreme confinement, brutal slaughter practices and blurred lines with wildlife trafficking. From alligator boots to snakeskin wallets, the use of exotic animal skins is prevalent throughout the fashion industry.
Many major fashion houses and designers are moving away from using exotic leather, with plant-based leather production on the rise.
The production of down feathers for clothing and bedding is a huge industry. Every year, billions of ducks and millions of geese endure brutal treatment to supply down feathers. Down is promoted as the fluffy insulation used from outdoor wear such as puffer vests, to homewares like duvets and pillows.
After global campaigns to protect ducks and geese, we have had some great success in this field, but there’s more to be done to protect these animals from abuse.
Animal friendly fashion
It starts with you
Together, people, designers and brands can build the ethical fashion movement, ensure animal protection is a key priority and drive more kindness in fashion!
The missing piece.
Over six billion animals end up in fashion and textiles annually, and many of them will suffer in countless ways for the sake of clothing. Over and over, we see horrible exposes showing animals being treated cruelly. Unsurprisingly, research has found generations are becoming increasingly concerned about the well-being of animals within fashion. It’s clear that the fashion industry can help leverage change!
We need more kindness for people.
Approximately 75 million people work to make our clothes, and 80% of them are young women. Most of these people are exploited, live in poverty and work in unsafe conditions. Human rights abuses remain rife, and basic health and safety measures rarely exist. We need to work together to ensure people and animals are better protected in the production of our clothing.
Our environment is suffering for fashion.
150 billion items of clothing are made every year, most of which end up in landfill. Chemicals used on farm to grow our clothes, to those used to launder, and especially, to dye our clothes are causing a devastating environmental impact. This is compounded by the greenhouse gas emissions produced by the clothing industry, estimated at a whopping 10% of global emissions, and adds further pressure to our delicate ecosystems.
Why transparency is crucial
Brands are not transparent enough about what goes into their products, nor the standards of animal care within their supply chains. By calling for transparency, brands will better understand their own supply chains and will take responsibility for the animals within them.