Press Centre

Animal welfare is the fashionable choice

The RSPCA reveals the fashion winners of the 2009 Good Business Awards

George at ASDA is celebrating after winning this year’s RSPCA Good Business Award for large fashion company.

Alongside them on the winner’s podium is vegan shoe boutique, Neon Collective who won the small fashion company category for its high fashion heels with an animal welfare conscience and dynamic approach to challenging perceptions of vegan shoes. High street favourite, New Look, and surf brand Finisterre have also been highly commended for their innovation and dedication to ethical sourcing and animal welfare.

In addition, Marks and Spencer was also presented with a commitment award for its uncompromising dedication to animal welfare within its fashion lines.

The awards, presented at an elegant ceremony at One Marylebone in London, were judged by an independent panel of industry experts based on criteria set out by the charity.

“This year’s large company award winner shows that there is a real commitment within the industry to improve animal welfare, and it’s reassuring to see big brands at the forefront of this change,” said Wayne Hemmingway, one of the fashion judges.

“George at ASDA has gone from a standing start to ensuring that animal welfare is at the core of its business. This company isn’t just paying lip service to the issue of animal welfare, but is working collaboratively with its suppliers to ensure animal friendly policies are common practise. As market leaders within the Wal-Mart group it is great to see that their pioneering policies will have a global impact.

Supported by high street staples such as New Look and Marks and Spencer, it is clear the large multiples are finally taking a good look at this issue and taking action."

It’s not just big brands who can drive change however – Finisterre come highly commended for their impressive style-conscious range of outdoor clothing. When using Merino wool they ensure it has come from sheep that have not been subjected to mulesing*.

The RSPCA Good Business Awards were set up five years ago, to encourage companies to adopt animal welfare-friendly policies. In this way they could reflect the concern of their customers and in turn reap financial and moral benefits.

David Bowles, Head of External Affairs at the RSPCA said: "This year’s winners, and the achievements of those companies commended for their dedication to animal welfare, are a clear indication that companies are responding to the shift away from disposable fashion and towards responsible consumerism.

“The animal welfare credentials of the items consumers buy is becoming increasingly important, and it is great to see some of the biggest fashion brands on the high street responding to this. These companies, who are striving to implement exceptional welfare standards such as George at ASDA, deserve our recognition as they set the standard for others to work towards.”

Posted in Press Centre on 08 October 2009