Non-Food Animal Welfare
Find out about our approach to non-food animal welfare
Animal welfare is a broad term covering the general health, welfare and wellbeing of animals in our diverse farming systems. It covers all the elements associated with livestock production including housing, grazing, nutrition, disease prevention and control, transport right through to humane handling and slaughter. It means providing for the animal’s physical and mental needs.
The UK is a recognised world leader in animal welfare. It drafted the first ever legislation on animal welfare nearly 200 years ago and established the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) – the world’s first animal welfare charity. In recent years animal welfare has also been rising up the global agenda, as a result of a number of factors including campaigns against the international trade of fur and skins from wild or endangered animals, tightening legislative requirements and investor concerns. Customers are also increasingly conscious of what they buy and wear.
We have always been committed to ensuring that the welfare of all animals used in the production of our products is safeguarded – this applies to food and non-food products. Our continued commitment to animal welfare has also been recognised by leading animal welfare groups such as the RSPCA and Compassion in World Farming.
Commitments and targets
We are committed to using responsibly sourced raw materials including the use of products derived from animals. It’s important that no animals are harmed in the making of our Clothing & Home products.
Our commitment to animal welfare extends to our stance on animal testing. We do not test or ask suppliers or other third parties to test household, homeware and beauty products on animals – this extends to the ingredients used within these products. And since 1 January 2006 we have not sold any products or products containing ingredients which have been tested on animals for cosmetic purposes.
Raw materials such as wool, cashmere, leather and feather and down used to make certain clothing and homeware items are derived from animals. We care greatly about the health and welfare of all the animals that feed into our supply chains. We have a strong heritage of sourcing with integrity. Over the years, we’ve taken significant steps to improve the sourcing of key raw materials in our products.
In developing our animal welfare policies and production specifications for food and non-food products we have referred to the internationally recognised ‘Five Freedoms’ recommended by the UK Farm Animal Welfare Committee as a framework and for guidance. These freedoms are:
- Freedom from Hunger and Thirst - by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain 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 ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering
We have a dedicated team of raw materials specialists responsible for defining and implementing policies and specifications of relevance to non-food animal welfare across our business. This team has been supported by an independent animal health and welfare expert for over 20 years.
We have been widely recognised as a leader in animal welfare. We have topped the Compassion in World Farming annual Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare since 2013. Sitting alongside this, we have also been awarded a number of recognitions from RSPCA including their Alternative Fashion Award in 2005 and 2006 and their Good Business Awards each year from 2007 and 2010 for animal welfare achievements in fashion retail.
Our approach to continually improving non-food animal welfare focuses on: