Animal Welfare

Animal welfare is an important part of a responsible supply chain. Varner wants to contribute to improve animal welfare practices in our industry by setting strict requirements for ourselves as well as for our suppliers. Varner established an Animal Welfare Policy in 2008 and has since worked with continuously developing the requirements based on the latest reports and research into the status of each material we use, and the potential risks related to these. Varner Animal Welfare Policy is shared with our suppliers, and they are required to sign this as a part of the Varner Supplier Manual. We ensure the implementation of our Policy with procedures to follow up on the traceability documentation from our suppliers.

Ethical aspects shall always be considered when choosing suppliers of animal materials. For Varner, this means a focus on traceability, health and safety, and a focus on animal welfare in farms and production units. These elements are also found in The Five Provisions on how animal welfare should be managed, set by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and used as guidelines for all suppliers to Varner.

Varner Animal Welfare Policy is based on best industry practices and risk assessment for each production country of the raw material.

Varner does not purchase leather or animal fibre from areas known for systematic poor animal welfare conditions and areas where husbandry can lead to a negative impact on the environment by contributing to water sources pollution, greenhouse gas emissions or even desertification.

  • Animal fibers traceability

    Varner aims to have full traceability on all our animal fiber products.

    Varner uses several of the Textile Exchange certifications for responsible animal materials, such as Responsible Down Standard and Responsible Wool Standard to help mitigate some of the risks in the supply chain and to achieve traceability. For leather and animal fibers that are not certified we also require the supplier to declare their supply chain, including origin of raw material if the information is available.

  • Down and Feathers

    Varner has a ban on live-plucking and force-feeding of birds.

    The Responsible Down Standard describes and independently certifies animal welfare practices in down and feather production and tracks the certified materials from farm to final product. All of our down products are certified to the Responsible Down Standard.

  • Leather

    Leather has a long and complex production chain, which makes it important to set clear requirements and expectations for the type of leather that can be used and where it has been processed. Only leather that is a by-product from animals that have been bred for the food industry will be accepted in our supply chain. Hides or skins from exotic animals are prohibited, including but not limited to crocodiles, snakes, sharks, and seals. We do not allow leather from live-skinning or live-boiling.

    Tanneries (dyeing of the leather) are an important part of the production process. Varner requires traceability on all orders for leather and audits are carried out at the tanneries focusing on health and safety, use of chemicals and protective equipment. Leather that at any stage of the tanning process has been treated/processed in Bangladesh is prohibited.

    Varner has a ban on Cow hides from India and leather from the Amazon region.

  • Wool

    Varner has a ban on the practice of mulesing. We do not buy merino wool from Australia unless it is certified to RWS, due to the common practice of mulesing in the country.

    Responsible Wool Standard

    The Responsible Wool Standard describes and independently certifies animal welfare and land management practices in wool production and tracks the certified material from farm to final product.

    A garment with RWS certified wool can be recognized by a hang tag with the RWS logo on.

  • Bans

    Varner has strict prohibitions on the following:

    • FUR: All use of real fur is prohibited. Only fake fur may be used. Definition of fur according to Fur Free Retailer: fur means any animal skin or part thereof with hair or fur fibres attached thereto, either in its raw or processed state or the pelt of any animal killed for the animal‘s fur.

    “Animal” includes, but is not limited to, mink, fox, rabbit, karakul lamb, and raccoon dog.

    “Fur” shall not include:

    1) such skins as are, or are to be, converted into leather or which in processing have, or shall have, the hair, fleece, or fur fibres completely removed,

    2) materials clipped, shorn, or combed from animals, such as fleece, sheepskin, or shearling,

    3) leather or hair attached to skin that is typically used as leather, e.g., cowhide with hair attached, or

    4) synthetic materials intended to look like fur.

    • ANGORA: Varner has a total ban on angora wool and angora wool blend yarns.

    • YAK: All use of yak is prohibited

    • ENDANGERED SPECIES: Materials derived from species appearing on the IUCN (International

    Union for Conservation of Nature) or the CITE (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) lists of endangered species shall not be used inproducts supplied to Varner.

    • LIVE-STOCK EXPORTATION FOR SLAUGHTER: Live-stock shall not be exported for slaughter

    Varner does not allow animal testing on cosmetics. All suppliers must comply with the EU Directive 2010/63 / EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes.

    Read more in our Animal Welfare Policy here.