Announcement reinforces commitment of VF and its brands to animal welfare
Submitted by VF Corporation
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.”
About VF Corporation
VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) outfits consumers around the world with its diverse portfolio of iconic lifestyle brands, including Vans®, The North Face®, Timberland®, Wrangler®, Lee® and Napapijri®. Founded in 1899, VF is one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies with socially and environmentally responsible operations spanning numerous geographies, product categories and distribution channels. VF is committed to delivering innovative products to consumers and creating long-term value for its customers and shareholders. For more information, visit www.vfc.com
“A world where every animal has freedom, dignity, life” is the vision of the largest Italian animal rights organization. LAV promotes and brings about a cultural change in the way we relate to other animals, with a view to achieving a lifestyle and making political choices based on respect for and solidarity towards all living beings, irrespective of their species.
LAV works to stop to any form of exploitation and suffering by asserting animals' rights and promoting the issuing and implementation of new laws. The organization also created the Animal Free Fashion Project, the first ethical rating to give value to fashion businesses based on the number of animal materials they have renounced using, and with an Animal Free logo to use for the labels. Established in 1977, LAV brings together around 50,000 people (members and contributors) and has 66 local chapters.
About The Humane Society of The United States
The Humane Society of the United States is the most effective animal protection organization, as rated by our peers. For more than 60 years, we have celebrated the protection of all animals and confronted all forms of cruelty. We and our affiliates are the nation’s largest provider of hands-on services for animals, caring for more than 150,000 animals each year, and we prevent cruelty to millions more through our advocacy campaigns. Read about our more than 60 years of transformational change for animals and people at www.HumaneSociety.org.
About Four Paws
FOUR PAWS is an international animal welfare organisation with headquarters in Vienna, Austria. Founded by Heli Dungler in 1988, the organisation strives to help animals in need with sustainable campaigns and projects. The work is based on substantiated research and scientific expertise as well as intensive national and international lobbying. FOUR PAWS focuses on animals that are directly under human influence: stray dogs and stray cats, farm animals, companion animals and wild animals including bears, big cats and orangutans kept in inappropriate conditions. With offices in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Romania, South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom and USA, FOUR PAWS aims to help animals in need directly and quickly. www.four-paws.org
About Fur Free Retailer
Fur Free Retailer is the world’s leading program to connect fur-free companies to consumers seeking ethical goods. The online Fur Free Retailer list provides consumers accurate information about a retailer’s fur policy, allowing them to make an informed choice when shopping. The program specifically aims to encourage companies to go fur-free and further the spirit of ethical consumerism. Run in over 20 countries the Fur Free Retailer program is an international initiative of the Fur Free Alliance, a coalition of more than 40 leading animal and environmental protection organizations worldwide, representing millions of supporters around the world.
Senior Director, Corporate Communications
Senior Director, Corporate Communications, EMEA
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VF Corporation outfits consumers around the world with its diverse portfolio of iconic lifestyle brands, including VansÂ®, The North FaceÂ®, TimberlandÂ®, WranglerÂ® and LeeÂ®. Founded in 1899, VF is one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies with socially and environmentally responsible operations spanning numerous geographies, product categories and distribution channels. VF is committed to delivering innovative products to consumers and creating long-term value for its customers and shareholders. For more information, visit www.vfc.com
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