As part of our commitment to living our ideals, we believe in animal welfare and the humane treatment of animals.
Read more in our sustainable material policy.
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. As long as the treatment of angora goats cannot be confirmed to be humane and in line with our animal welfare policy, we will continue to keep the ban in place.
Target: 100 % of our down products are certified according to the Responsible Down Standard
Contribution to UN Sustainable Development Goals
We take extra care when we opt to use down and feathers so we can be sure that the ducks and geese providing these materials for our products are treated humanely.
In accordance with our Animal Welfare Policy, Esprit strongly condemns force-feeding animals and plucking feathers and down from live birds. To ensure that these practices do not occur in our supply chain, all Esprit products containing feathers and down are certified according to the Responsible Down Standard. This has been the case since fall 2016.
The standard, managed by the non-profit organization Textile Exchange, examines all stages of the supply chain - from duck and goose farms to Esprit itself - to ensure that no live-plucked down or feathers are used in Esprit’s garments.
Target: 50% of our wool is certified according to the Responsible Wool Standard by 2022
Remark: We have sourced the first RWS styles in FY17/18 which will be available in Winter 2018
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.
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.