VF Corporation joins the likes of H&M, Next and Topshop in the Fur Free Retailer Programme which partners with the Fur Free Alliance, an international group of 34 animal protection organisations.

“In joining the Fur Free Retailer program, VF and our brands are once again proving that we’re serious about animal welfare,” said VF vice president of global corporate sustainability Letitia Webster.

“Sustainability and respect for nature are fundamental values for VF and all our brands, and we will continue to partner with respected animal-rights organizations and like-minded companies to promote the development of viable commercial substitutes to animal materials.”

Best foot forward

Earlier this year, VF announced that its brands, which includes footwear giant Vans, would no longer use fur, angora or exotic leather.

VF’s brands have a track record of taking action on animal welfare. Timberland, for instance, has partnered with other footwear brands, tanneries and retailers to form the Leather Working Group (LWG) to promote responsible practices within the leather industry. It has a goal for 100% of Timberland’s leathers to come from LWF silver or gold-rated tanneries by 2020.

These efforts reflect a wider commitment from VF to place sustainability at the heart of its operations. Earlier this year, VF moved to minimise its impacts on deforestation with a new set of policies for the company’s purchasing preferences and use of sustainable forest materials.

Timberland, meanwhile, has joined companies such as HP in striking a partnership with Thread, a community project that harvests materials from plastic bottles littering the streets and landfills of Haiti.

And last month, The North Face addressed climate change with the launch of its new wool beanie, the production of which is said to be carbon “net-negative”.

George Ogleby

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