At Kering, we believe it is paramount that animal welfare is improved across fashion and luxury production lines. Kering has rolled out its Standards and on-the-ground projects and participated in collective initiatives in an effort to drive positive change in supply chain practices on both a Group and industry-wide basis.
Setting strict standards
In 2019, the Group published its Animal Welfare Standards, providing a framework for the treatment of animals throughout its supply chain. The public document fulfills Kering’s aspirations to open-source its sustainability practices with the goal of facilitating industry-wide change.
The Standards cover all the species around the world that are part of the Group’s supply chains. They include detailed requirements for the treatment of cattle, sheep and goats throughout their lives, as well as guidelines for slaughterhouses. The Standards are structured in Bronze, Silver and Gold tiers to provide clear guidance on critical compliance and are aimed at empowering the Group’s suppliers to make continuous improvements.
The Kering Animal Welfare Standards were developed over three years with input from animal welfare experts, farmers and herders as well as scientists and NGOs. The Standards are based on the latest scientific research, as well as prevailing legislation and standards, best management practices and recommendations from a range of sectors.
Mapping the supply chain
To meet its ambition, Kering continually updates food sector label mapping in compliance with its Standards on animal welfare and environmental protection. The Group draws on existing standards for farms and slaughterhouses, forging ties between the leather and food industry supply chains.
For fibers such as wool and cashmere, Kering conducts its own audits as well as obtaining third-party certification in order to ensure the protection of animal welfare in farming and along the entire value chain.
Developing the sustainable cashmere project
In 2014, Kering teamed up with the Wildlife Conservation Society in Mongolia to create the South Gobi Cashmere Project. The initiative aims to help herders to reduce the impact of upstream cashmere production and switch to new sustainable goat rangeland programs in the South Gobi Region of Mongolia. Kering has worked alongside herders and NGOs to improve herd welfare as well as optimizing fiber quality, pasture management and local biodiversity conservation.
Supporting responsible wool
In the Abruzzo region, in Italy, the Group is working with sheep herding cooperatives and conducting audits to ensure their practices align with its Animal Welfare Standards. At the same time, Kering is focused on the gradual rollout of third-party certification for such herders, including the Textile Exchange’s Responsible Wool Standard (RWS).
Engaging our stakeholders
Kering already respects the Five Freedoms, as outlined by the Farm Animal Welfare Council in 1992. To this end, the Group actively continues to level up its standards through cooperation with all involved stakeholders. The latter include the following: Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), Welfarm, OABA, South African Ostrich Business Chamber, and South East Asian Reptile Conservation Alliance (SARCA).
Inspiring an industry
As a Group, we believe that change is needed across the board. This is why Kering and its Houses support multiple organizations dedicated to improving animal welfare in Luxury. It is also our call to action through participation in several collective initiatives.
Against this backdrop, Kering is working closely with the Textile Exchange to create a benchmark for existing certification that applies to leather supply chains. Together, they are also working towards the creation of a mechanism that recognizes the most sustainable players as regards animal welfare and environmental protection.
In addition, the Group lends its know-how to various wool industry endeavors aimed at establishing certification and sustainable wool production methods which include the Responsible Wool Standard, the Responsible Mohair Standard and the Responsible Alpaca Standard.
Lastly, as part of the Paris Good Fashion initiative, Kering co-leads a working group on animal welfare with the French National Leather Council (CNC). It brings together several major players in the French fashion and luxury industry.