As part of our commitment to living our ideals, we believe in animal welfare and the humane treatment of animals.
Read more in our Policy on Raw Materials and Animal Welfare.
All products derived from animals must be produced in accordance with our Code of Conduct and the Five Freedoms of the Farm Animal Welfare Committees (FAWC).
- Freedom from Hunger and Thirst
- Freedom from Discomfort
- Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease
- Freedom to Express Normal Behaviour
- Freedom from Fear and Distress
ESPRIT is a fur free company and part of the Fur Free Retailer Program. This means that we only use synthetic fur in our products.
Fur Free Retailer is the world’s leading program to connect fur-free companies to consumers seeking ethical goods. Run in over 20 countries the Fur Free Retailer program is an international initiative of the Fur Free Alliance, a coalition of more than 40 leading animal and environmental protection organizations worldwide, representing millions of supporters around the world.
Since November 2013, angora wool, which comes from the angora rabbit, has been banned from all our products. The ban on angora wool will remain in place until proper controls and transparency can be established to assure the humane treatment of angora rabbits.
Mohair fiber comes from the angora goat. We have decided to discontinue selling mohair by mid-2019, as the humane treatment of the goats can’t be assured. From 2022 onwards, Esprit will start to use mohair again, but only fibers which are certified with the Responsible Mohair Standard. This standard certifies the respectful and humane treatment of angora goats in line with our animal welfare policy.
Target: 100% sustainable wool by 2023
Contribution to UN Sustainable Development Goals
Wool, coming from sheep, is both durable and biodegradable. This makes it a sustainable choice particularly for garments that are intended to have a long lifespan. In order to protect the welfare of sheep, we worked with Textile Exchange and other brands to develop the Responsible Wool Standard.
The Responsible Wool Standard seeks to ensure that the sheep in our supply chain are treated with respect and in accordance with the Five Freedoms of the Farm Animal Welfare Committee. The standard also focuses on sustainable management of grazing land. In 2017, we funded the Responsible Wool Standard Kickstarter program to support the implementation of the standard in textile supply chains. We are currently working to incorporate wool that is certified according to the Responsible Wool Standard into our products. As this is still a relatively new program, RWS-certified wool is still a challenge to source. However, we remain committed to our goal that 50% of our virgin sheep wool will be sourced according to the Responsible Wool Standard by 2022.
Additionally, since 2012, Esprit has expressly prohibited surgical mulesing of sheep in our supply chain.
Furthermore, Esprit also starts to use recycled wool which is certified according to the Recycled Claim Standard or the Global Recycling Standard. The prerequisite for labeling a product with our "Recycled" hangtag is the presence of at least 20 % recycled wool in the product.
We have strict rules for the use of leather in our products. We require our leather to be a by-product of the food industry, and our suppliers must be able to trace raw hides and skins back to their country of origin. We do not source leather from endangered or threatened species that appear on lists from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature or the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
One major challenge we face trying to source more sustainable leather is that there is not one overall apparel industry standard for leather that includes animal welfare. To overcome this, Textile Exchange launched the Responsible Leather Initiative early 2017. The initiative takes a multi-stakeholder approach that brings together interested parties to help develop the best possible solutions for the industry. As member of this group, we aim to address the many issues found within the global leather supply chain, including animal welfare as well as social and labor issues and deforestation.
We strongly condemn any form of removal of feathers or down from live birds, and force feeding of animals. To provide a high level of transparency to our customers, Esprit will adopt the Responsible Down Standard (RDS). The standard aims to ensure that down and feathers come from ducks and geese that have been treated humanely and neither forced-fed nor live-plucked.. All suppliers for feather and down styles must undergo the certification process to receive the RDS Scope Certificate and must be able to provide Transaction Certificates approved by an accredited and independent certification body for each final garment.
To support the circular approach, we also accept recycled down which has a significantly lower environmental footprint. All suppliers for feather and down styles must undergo the certification process to receive either the Global Recycling Standard (GRS) or Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) Scope Certificate and must be able to provide Transaction Certificates approved by an accredited and independent certification body for each final garment.