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HSI and H&M Unite to Improve Animal Welfare within the Industry

By Vivian Hendriksz


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London - Swedish fast-fashion chain H&M is on a new mission to ensure the ethical treatment of animals becomes a priority in the fashion industry together with the Humane Society International (HSI).

Together with the global animal rights' organization the Humane Society International, H&M has developed a series of animal welfare pledges to protect animals involved in the fashion and beauty industry. The new initiative includes a commitment to pursue policy change in countries across the globe, including national legislative bans on animal testing of cosmetics and protection against the cruel practices within wool and down production, such as mulesing and force-feeding.

H&M teams up with Humane Society International to ensure Animal Welfare standard

"Animal welfare is important to us at H&M and we want to contribute to improved animal welfare practices in our industry, which is why we are committing ourselves not only to further improve our own requirements, but also to work collaboratively with HSI to elevate standards throughout the industry and globally," said Madelene Ericsson on their partnering. "HSI is a globally recognized organization with manys years of experience within this area we believe they will be a very good partner in pushing for change and we hope that other companies will be inspired to do likewise."

HSI and H&M be working hand in hand to ensure the welfare of animals from which wool, hair or down is derived from is improved. Their initiative includes their participation in the development of global wool and down standards as well as other auditing programs. The two will also collaborate together to introduce industry-wide policy changes, such as national legislative bans on mulesing, live-plucking of birds and force-feeding.

"Within the fashion industry, the hidden suffering of animals used in the production of wool, down, and leather is too often ignored," said Chetana Mirle, director of HSI’s farm animals department on the new collaboration. "H&M is demonstrating great leadership by expanding its existing animal welfare commitments, and supporting the development of certification and educational programs that will actively improve the welfare of animals such as sheep, goats, geese and ducks in the industry as a whole. We are particularly looking forward to working together to eliminate cruel farming practices such as mulesing from the fashion industry, which would be an immense animal welfare achievement.”

H&M continues to push for change for Animal Welfare

H&M will also actively be supporting HSI's #BeCrueltyFree Campaign, which aims to end all animal testing within the global beauty industry. Since its launch in 2012, the campaign has seen a number of test and trade bans victories in regions including the European Union, Israel, Norway, India and New Zealand. H&M aims to support the campaign numerous ways, including consumer advocacy, entering into open dialogue with key stakeholders and supporting training and education programmes.

"H&M must be commended for committing itself to our #BeCrueltyFree campaign’s mission of achieving a global end to cosmetics animal testing," said Troy Seidle, director of HSI’s research & toxicology department in a statement. "As a company that already eschews animal testing of its own cosmetics, H&M is now sending a strong message industry-wide that more needs to be done to end the suffering of animals in cosmetics tests."

Andrew Rowan, Chief Executive Officer at HSI added: "It is exciting to partner with a company that shares our passion for animal protection. Working with H&M to end cosmetics animal testing, and improve the lives of animals on farms, will set a high standard for others to follow. It will show that it not only makes good ethical sense to treat animals with kindness and compassion, but it makes good business sense too."

H&M currently has a long-term strategy in place to secure animal welfare in its own supply chain. It's policy in brief states the fashion chain does not sell genuine fur; they do not source down or feathers from force-fed or live plucked birds; they do not use angora rabbit fur; they do not source from mulesing farms; they do not use exotic skin or materials from endangered species; no animal testing on their own brand cosmetics; and source leather from animals bred for consumption.

Animal Rights
Hennes and Mauritz
Humane Society International