Animal Sourcing Principles
We are building a modern brand. We strive to make our clothes with greater care and we are committed to designing with respect for people and planet. Responsible sourcing is at the heart of this commitment. The Vivienne Westwood Group Animal Sourcing Principles apply to all animal derived materials used in products that we design and manufacture. They are put in place to uphold the highest animal welfare standards and we aim to implement them throughout our own business and in our supply chain. These Principles apply to the capture, maintenance, breeding, raising, transportation, handling and slaughter of animals. They are mandatory for all suppliers to ensure that we do not knowingly use any material in our products that may inflict harm on animal welfare or have a negative impact on biodiversity. It is our suppliers’ responsibility to ensure that all animal derived materials are sourced, processed and manufactured in accordance with these Principles and suppliers should be able to provide evidence demonstrating their compliance when required. We are always happy to provide support to help our suppliers understand and implement these Principles.
1) We are committed to upholding the highest animal welfare standards, based on the internationally recognised ‘Five Freedoms’ of animal welfare;
- Freedom from hunger and thirst, by ready access to fresh water and a diet for full health and vigour.
- Freedom from discomfort, by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
- Freedom from pain, injury or disease, by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
- Freedom to express normal behaviour, by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.
- Freedom from fear and distress, by providing conditions and treatment that avoid mental suffering.
2) We are committed to sustaining biodiverse ecosystems in areas where we source. This includes maintaining species populations of wild animals at sustainable levels and only sourcing material of animal origin from legal sources. We believe that local authorities’ use of robust scientific assessment methodologies that ensure sustainable population levels, such as the non-detriment finding methodology promoted by the CITES agreement or the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria assessment, is critical to achieve this objective.
3) We believe that the capture, maintaining, breeding, raising, transportation, handling and slaughter of animals must be undertaken with minimal environmental impacts, and in compliance with applicable local animal welfare, human and labour rights and environmental laws and regulations as well as internationally accepted standards, for example World Organisation for Animal Health.
4) We believe that during maintaining, breeding, raising, and handling, animals should have freedom of movement, be housed in clean and secure conditions, and provided with food, water and care as well as have appropriate lighting, temperature, humidity, air circulation, ventilation and other environmental conditions. Further, animals should not be given food or liquid in a manner which may cause suffering or injury, and they should be treated in a manner respectful of its species’ nature and their physiological and ethological needs in accordance with established experience and scientific knowledge.
5) We believe that animals should not be transported in a way that is likely to cause injury or suffering to them, including that all necessary arrangements have been made in advance to minimise the length of the journey and to meet animals’ needs during the journey in line with internationally accepted standards for transportation of animals in air, at sea and on land.
6) We believe that animals should not experience suffering, pain or excitement during all stages of the process of slaughter, and that, as appropriate, effective stunning should be used in advance of slaughter.
Specific Principles for Animal Derived Materials
We do not permit the use of:
- Any endangered species; we will never knowingly source any species listed on the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) and IUCN (International Union for Conservation Red) lists of endangered species.
- Animal fur including rabbit hair (e.g. Angora), Mongolian lambs’ fur, Karakul (also referred to as Astrakhan/Broadtail/Persian lamb/Swakara/Krimmer) or any other hair from animals reared in cages for their hair.
- Leather or skin from exotic and wild caught animals including reptile skins, crocodile and alligator.
- Leather from cattle reared in the Amazon biome.
- Leather of kangaroo origin.
- Leather of horse origin.
- Hair from wild animals e.g. vicuña.
- Shell from vulnerable or endangered species
We permit the use of the following under the conditions outlined below:
- Certain types of leather; cow, sheep, goat, pig and buffalo
- A Virgin wool fibre and recycled wool fibre
- Virgin cashmere fibre and recycled cashmere fibre
- Yak fibre
- Animal derived horn