May 9, 2017
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VF Corp prohibits use of fur, releases new materials policy

May 9, 2017

VF Corporation is implementing a new materials policy that includes a company-wide ban on fur use as well as an emphasis on the ethical treatment of animals.

Women's Artic Down Parka, one of The North Face's Responsible Down Standard certified products.

In an official release made public today, VF Corp unveiled its Animal Derived Materials Policy, which sets forth the new standard that VF Corp brands will no longer use fur, angora and exotic leathers in their products.

The Animal Derived Materials Policy was created in partnership with The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International.

“VF believes that all animals within the global commercial supply chain should be treated with care and respect,” said Letitia Webster, VF’s Vice President of Global Corporate Sustainability. She said that VF Corp's goals behind the new materials policy is to "help ensure that the materials we use today are procured from sources that prioritize animal welfare and responsible business practices.”

Most of the animal derived products that VF Corp brands use are wool, leather and down. VF Corp has been tracking towards a more animal-friendly supply chain in recent years.

In 2014, VF Corp brand The North Face worked with industry partners to create the Responsible Down Standard, a global standard designed to safeguard the welfare of the geese and ducks providing down feathers used in apparel.

VF Corp brand Timberland has worked to improve responsible practices in the leather industry including only using traceable hides and banning sourcing from countries where animal welfare is questionable.

Best practices for wool use include avoiding wool that comes from the cruel practice of "mulesing" where the wool is stripped from the sheep live without painkillers. Angora most recently came into attention when PETA circulated a video showing a similarly cruel practice of harvesting the rabbit fur off of live rabbits. Brands responded by dropping angora from their product design.

VF Corp only uses wool from farms that certify they are non-mulesing farms.

Kitty Block, vice president of Humane Society International expressed support of the new materials plan saying, “as a leader in the global apparel industry, VF’s policy sends an important message to the industry that animal suffering has no place in fashion.”


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