Animal Welfare

Animal welfare is important to us, and no animals should be harmed in the making of our products. We have a long-standing commitment to improving animal welfare across our global supply chains and we are working to source all animal-derived materials from farms with good animal husbandry.

We are working with industry expert groups and support the ongoing research and development of animal welfare standards and transparency tools to be able to work for the improvement of animal welfare, not only in our supply chain — but within the entire industry.

We encourage the use of recycled animal fibres, as well as supporting the development of innovative materials that can offer the same qualities as animal materials, but that isn't from animal origin.

Fur free since the get-go! Image from the H&M Instagram account.

Our approach 

We always work long-term, with the ambition to reach full traceability and only source from good farms. We don’t perform animal tests on any of our beauty products, and we have strict requirements and long-term goals in place for materials of animal origin, such as wool, leather or down. We say a big NO to fur, and for many years we have banned the use of exotic skin, as well as any material deriving from endangered species. Since 2013, this ban also includes the use of angora wool, and we are now phasing out our use of mohair and by 2020 we will have no mohair in our products. As part of our 2030 goal to only use sustainably sourced materials, we are now beginning to gradually phase out conventional cashmere. For example, H&M will stop placing orders on conventional cashmere at the end of next year. While cashmere is popular for its soft texture and known as a high-quality material, it comes with both environmental and animal welfare challenges.

We will continue to work for a more transparent supply chain, where cashmere is sourced from sustainable sources that are independently certified by standards that cover both animal welfare and environmental aspects. If the cashmere industry in the future would meet our sustainability criteria, we could consider turning to virgin cashmere again. Besides our work to improve the industry, we will also continue to look at alternatives with an equally great feel and value to customers as cashmere, but with less environmental impacts.

We have improved our requirements on animal-based fibres and: 

•    We have long-term goals in place for all materials of animal origin

•    We aim to reach full traceability and only source from farms with good animal husbandry for all animal-derived materials by 2025 the latest

•    By end of 2022, all wool used in our products should come from farms certified to the Responsible Wool Standard

•    Since 2015 we only accept virgin down from farms that are certified according to the Responsible Down Standard, and H&M Group is the biggest buyer of “preferred down” in the world.  

 

Working Together for change 

We want to set high stand­ards not only for ourselves, but for the entire industry, and we team up with different stakeholders to raise the level of animal welfare in the industry.  Together with industry expert groups, we support research, development and implementation of animal welfare standards and transparency in the supply chains of wool, cashmere, leather and down. 

We have joined forces with organisations such as Humane Society International, Textile Exchange and Sustainable Fibre Alliance. Together, we are working to make animal protection a priority in the fashion industry — from ethical sourcing of animal origin fabrics, to achieve a global ban on animal testing for beauty products. We believe animals have the right to a fair treatment and have their basic needs fulfilled. Simple as that.

In parallel to all the above, we also support the use of recycled animal fibres, as well as innovative and more sustainable alternatives that offer the same qualities but that are from non-animal origin.

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