Geese in the snow

Achieving Animal Welfare in Fashion: Our 2023 Success Stories 

Our top wins from the year, plus some tips on animal-friendly gift giving for the holidays


With 2023 soon wrapping up, we are proud to showcase many highlights and wins for animal welfare in fashion over the last year. We could not have achieved these successes without our dedicated FOUR PAWS supporters, so thank you for being with us each step of the way. In addition to our accomplishments for animals, we have included some helpful tips on shopping kind for the holiday season.

Some of Our 2023 Successes in Numbers! 


more brands joined the Brands Against Mulesing list! 19 brands also signed the open brand letter of intent.


validated signatures achieved, for the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) #FurFreeEurope!


of fashion brands moved to a higher level of animal welfare, based on our research shown in our annual fashion report!

More brands joined the #EndMulesing movement!

In 2023, our mulesing campaign had some great wins for the future of sheep welfare. For starters, over 40 more brands joined in the Brands Against Mulesing list, which has now reached over 400 brands! Some brands who made the commitment to go 100% Mulesing free include Spell, Macy’s, Monsoon, Takko, Gerry Weber, and Atmos & Here.

Another prominent success for our mulesing campaign, was the addition of 19 brands who have signed our open letter, calling on the Australian wool industry to end mulesing by a set date.

Global sportswear leader, Nike, pledges to go Mulesing Free!

2023 was also the year that sports brand mogul Nike, responded to our campaigning efforts, ‘Nike just don’t do it’, which urged the brand to phase mulesing out of their supply-chains. Over 80,000 emails were sent to Nike by sports enthusiasts and animal welfare supporters, resulting in the brand committing to end their use of mulesed sheep wool! Brands with global prestige like Nike are crucial for influencing other players to make the switch and will assist in increasing the demand for more mulesing-free practices. Thanks to our supporters for spreading awareness about this campaign, we could not have achieved this without you!

Action in front of the Nike store in Hamburg, Germany

Fur Free Achievements

In less than 10 months in a collaborative effort with other NGOs and key players, we achieved 1.5 million validated signatures for the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) #FurFreeEurope, calling on the ban of fur farming and sales of products containing such fur across the EU! This was the most successful ECI for animal welfare in history and has been critical in pushing towards an end of fur farms and fur fashion items across the continent. Together with our allies we will do everything we can next year to ensure that such a ban will be included into the EU animal welfare legislation. Additionally Lithuania has become the 20th European country to completely ban fur farming, sparing around one million animals a year from miserable lives and cruel deaths on fur farms. The country’s remaining around 40 mink and 30 chinchilla fur farms, must close by 2027.

As part of the Fur Free Retailer initiative many new companies have joined the more than 1600 brands that are completely fur-free. In 2023, FOUR PAWS alone was able to win an additional 18 brands from Austria, Australia, Bulgaria, Germany, and South Africa for the program!

ECI fur action at the ministry for the Interior in Austria, Vienna

FOUR PAWS Report shows Industry Moving Forward for Animals

In 2023 we launched the third edition of FOUR PAWS' Animal Welfare in Fashion Report, in collaboration with Good On You. Together we rated 100 fashion brands on their animal welfare performance. Fortunately, many brands are making commitments into the future, and there are several leading the way. Congrats to industry leaders like Stella McCartney, G-Star RAW, Another Tomorrow, Patagonia, icebreaker, a VF Company, ARMEDANGELS, NIKIN AG, Missguided, and Kik Clothing! Many of whom are not only taking steps forward to improve welfare but also investing in sustainable animal-free next-gen materials. Overall, we are thrilled to report that 17% of brands moved to a higher animal welfare category, indicating progress in the right direction is happening!

Increasing Awareness through Global Educational and Collaborative Engagements

Our Wear it Kind team took part in educational engagements around the world, inspiring students, and industry players alike. In South Africa, we visited fashion students at the Design Academy of Fashion for a screening of ‘SLAY’ and a discussion about animal welfare in fashion. In Austria and Switzerland, we took part in various university learning sessions as well. We were proud to see future fashion leaders engaged about making a difference and using their skills to design a better and conscientious future for animals in fashion!

Screening of the Slay Film at the Cape Town College of Fashion Design in Cape Town, South Africa

In addition to collaborating with students, the Wear it Kind team also spoke at global conferences and engaged with key industry stakeholders. The Team spoke at the Natural Fibre Connect Conference in Biella, Italy, as well as ISPO in Munich, the Good Cashmere Conference in Milan, and the Textile Exchange Conference in London, to discuss the importance of animal welfare, providing guidance to brands as to how they can make long-term positive changes.

Rebecca Picallo Gil at a conference about animal welfare in textiles

Holiday Gift Giving Guide

We look forward to continuing our efforts to make animal welfare a priority in fashion next year! But for now, the holiday season is upon us and as consumers, you also have the power to demand change. Here are our recommendations!

  • Second hand gift giving is a great way to reduce our impact! Vintage stores, thrift markets and online marketplaces are always a great place to find unique and animal-friendly gifts.
  • Look out for some animal friendly next-gen materials like:
    • Faux leather: Plant-based e.g. Cactus leather, or Mycelium based
    • Faux Fur: Plant-based ingredients and microbe fermentation processes, or recycled PET
    • Faux Wool: Hemp, or fibers manufactured through fermentation of plant-based ingredients by specially designed microbes e.g. Spiber!
      Faux Down: Made from Kapok seed fiber e.g. Flocus, or recycled ocean plastics e.g. Theremore

Check out the Good On You site to find brands and items made more ethically. You can also filter for ‘vegan’ as a value you’re interested in supporting!

Kapok fruit

Want more tips? Check out our kind winter shopping guide! 

Happy holidays, and thanks again to our supporters for being part of this journey to a more responsible and kinder fashion future for animals! Together we will ensure no animal suffers for fashion!

Lambs in a field

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