We are deeply committed to our Animal Sourcing Principles that demand care and respect for the animals in our material supply chains. Our Principles are based on the internationally recognised ‘Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare, which include the freedom from hunger and thirst, discomfort, pain, injury or disease, fear and distress and freedom to express normal behaviour. These Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare are a must for all our suppliers to ensure that we do not knowingly use any material or process in our products that inflicts suffering on animals or has a negative impact on biodiversity.
We presently do not use real animal leather in our Ready-to-Wear collections and only use this material for our shoes, bags and small leather goods for its quality and durability. In our current accessories range, animal leather makes up 60% of the whole collection. Our footwear collection is made of 46% animal leather this season.
We require all leather in our products to come from farms with high animal welfare standards, according to our Animal Sourcing Principles. During the sourcing process, our teams check for industry standards suppliers may have in place that can guarantee high levels of animal welfare, and only source materials in accordance with our Animal Sourcing Principles and the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare. However, due to industry-wide concerns about animal welfare, deforestation and hazardous chemicals used in leather processing, we are reducing the use of virgin animal leather in our accessories and footwear collections, as outlined below.
The alternatives to real animal leather we accept include, but are not limited to, recycled polyester, partially or fully bio-based PU leather or, for our footwear ranges, innovations such as bamboo and apple fibres. If a synthetic material serves to replace an animal leather, our preference is to source a 100% recycled alternative. This way, we eliminate the risks of animal welfare concerns but simultaneously don’t source virgin plastic. Alternatives such as apple fibres can be beneficial as they make use of ‘waste’ materials, for example by utilising discarded apple skins.
We continue to explore alternative materials – such as cactus leather, apple leather, cotton canvas, wool and recycled – in an effort to reduce the amount of leather we use overall.