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Consumers turning their back on animal-derived textiles

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

Aug 3, 2021

Fashion

Image: courtesy of Four Paws; models wearing animal-free clothing for the Wear it Kind programme

The global coronavirus pandemic has increased demands for compassion in fashion, with two-thirds of UK consumers demanding that fashion brands take action to guarantee higher animal welfare in fashion.

According to new research, commissioned by global animal welfare organisation Four Paws, almost 90 percent of Brits believe companies should make animal protection a priority, with a third of consumers adding that they would choose one fashion brand over another if they prioritised animal welfare.

One in three British consumers have also changed their fashion purchasing habits since the pandemic, turning their back on animal-derived textiles, adds Four Paws.

The research adds that six in ten UK adults are aware of the cruelty involved in the fashion industry, with most associating it with fur (79 percent), exotic leather (75 percent), down feathers (44 percent) and mulesed wool (23 percent).

Emily Wilson, Four Paws UK head of campaigns, said in a statement: “For far too long animals have been the unheard victims in the fashion industry. But the tide is now turning and not only are consumers taking a stand but high-street and fashion houses alike are responding.

“Covid-19 highlighted how closely aligned our relationship with animals is, and one in three adults actually changed their fashion purchasing habits as a result. Over a third seek out higher quality items that are also sustainable and have higher animal welfare credentials, and a quarter have opted to avoid animal-based fashion products all together.”

To coincide with the research, Four Paws is urging people to Wear it Kind for all animals, by reducing, refining and replacing animal-based fashion products, with higher welfare or animal-free and sustainable fashion alternatives to show that there is no place for animal cruelty in fashion.

Wilson added: “More people need to look at their wardrobes and start showing more compassion in fashion. If we can all start checking labels, ensuring we know where our products have come from and avoid inherently cruel products like fur and exotic leather, wool from mulesed sheep, and down from live plucked geese, we can all help protect millions of animals from suffering worldwide.”