FOUR PAWS reveals that almost 90 percent want fashion industry to prioritize animal welfare

Millions of animals suffer and die every year for fashion items made of fur, leather, and wool. Yet new research commissioned by FOUR PAWS, the global animal welfare organization, has revealed there is strong demand for more kindness to animals in our wardrobes. The YouGov poll among almost 14,000 participants across twelve countries* found that nearly two thirds of adults (64%) are aware of animal cruelty in the fashion industry and since COVID-19, almost another third (31%) are now either seeking products with high animal welfare credentials or avoiding animal-based products all together.

FOUR PAWS new program “Wear it Kind” urges consumers and industry to say “No” to animal cruelty, and to choose only animal friendly sustainable fashion. The campaign has plenty of support.  According to FOUR PAWS new research, every third (37%) adult chooses one fashion brand over another if they prioritize animal welfare. Overall awareness levels of animal cruelty in fashion are constantly rising. Globally, nine out of ten people (86%) want companies to make animal protection a key priority alongside environmental protection and social standards.

“The survey results show consumers increasingly expect brands to ensure the welfare of the animals used within their supply chains. Brands acting in this way, are more likely to resonate well with consumers. Though the results are encouraging, we need more people to be aware of animal cruelty when buying textiles, more transparency within animal supply chains, and to achieve good animal welfare outcomes, a reduction in the use of animal-derived materials overall,” stated Jessica Medcalf, animal welfare in fashion expert at FOUR PAWS.

A trend towards compassion

The research revealed that since the beginning of the Coronavirus crisis, fashion purchasing habits have changed significantly, with 50 percent noting some level of change. For instance, in fashion-conscious Italy, almost two-thirds (64%) have made changes to how they purchase fashion, and a quarter of French respondents (27%) state they now seek sustainable fashion with higher animal welfare standards. Globally, one in eight (13%) has decided to now avoid animal-based fashion products all together.

“More and more consumers are becoming knowledgeable about the use of animals in fashion and the social and environmental consequences of their fashion purchases. Shoppers want change, and most recognize that animal protection must be an essential third pillar of ethical fashion. Wear it Kind includes a significant outreach and education effort directly to brands, compelling them towards prioritizing transparency on animal welfare issues in their supply chains. While we have a long way to go to improve conditions for the vast numbers of animals used in fashion, by working together, animal protection organizations, brands, retailers, producers and shoppers can all create a better world for animals,” stated Danika Oriol-Morway, Executive Director of FOUR PAWS USA.

Wear it Kind

FOUR PAWS has a long legacy in catalyzing change, most recently urging brands like PUMA and Calvin Klein to ditch mulesed wool. Mulesing is a painful mutilation of young Merino lambs that involves large pieces of skin being cut from their buttocks to prevent flystrike infestation, despite pain-free alternatives available. Additionally, the global animal welfare organization is a member of the Fur Free Alliance (FFA) and has helped to drive FFA’s Fur Free Retailer program in which over 1,500 brands have pledged to never use fur.

“Through our new Wear it Kind program, we’re committed to supporting and encouraging brands to reduce their use of animal derived materials. Together we can end this cruelty and work towards achieving an animal-friendly fashion future,” concluded Medcalf.