Ostrich in the wild

THE ICONIC and ASOS strengthen wildlife policies to tackle feathers mislabelling exposed by new report


Thanks to your support, THE ICONIC and ASOS have strengthened their wildlife policies and Melbourne Fashion Week ushers in a world-first feather ban, following our latest report with Collective Fashion Justice.

We commend THE ICONIC for putting a decorative feather ban in place that will be implemented from 2024 and ASOS for strengthening their material testing policies to ensure their wildlife policy is better adhered to.

Thanks to your support, this decision comes as our latest report with Collective Fashion Justice, ‘Feathers are the New Fur – Cruelty in Disguise’, exposed the concerning and widespread mislabelling practices within the fashion industry.

Suzanne Milthorpe, Head of Campaigns at World Animal Protection, said:

Our polling has repeatedly shown that the use of wild animals in fashion is becoming unacceptable in the eyes of the consumer. This makes the mislabelling by big fashion brands a blatant breach of consumer trust, many of whom may be trying to shop cruelty-free.

We also celebrate Melbourne Fashion Week’s decision to ban the use of wild bird feathers such as ostrich feathers and peacock feathers on its runway from 2024. The announcement of their new policy comes as our report with Collective Fashion Justice highlighted animal cruelty in the feather industry. The fashion week has been fur and wild animal skin free since 2018 and is now the first-ever show globally to abandon all three cruel wildlife-derived materials.

Milthorpe further added:

Feathers often find their way into fashion through extremely cruel practices which undermine the most basic principles of animal welfare. With this new policy, Melbourne is setting the stage for a future where fashion and ethics go hand in hand, cementing a global standard for the industry which truly aligns with public expectations. We hope to see more brands and fashion week organisers follow Melbourne’s lead and embrace innovation over exploitation by keeping wildlife materials out of their collections.

Baby ostriches

Image credit: Peta

Each year, tens of thousands of wild birds such as ostriches, peacocks and pheasants are exploited and brutally slaughtered for the profits of fashion brands that have not progressed to humane and innovative alternatives.

Emma Hakansson, Founding Director of Collective Fashion Justice said:

Fashion’s ongoing use of feathers is built on a ‘we’ve always done it this way’ notion that deems animal exploitation and planetary harm acceptable. In an interwoven environmental and ethical crisis, it’s time to move beyond that. Fashion is about creativity and innovation, and designers utilising next-generation plant-based, 3D printed, bio-based and recycled materials in place of feathers are leading us to the future of fashion we need. M/FW’s decision allows the industry to become more creative, and less reliant on outdated systems: that’s exciting and commendable.

It’s time to put an end to animal cruelty in the fashion industry and move towards humane, next-generation plant-based, 3D printed, bio-based and recycled materials that are readily available today.

Together, we can move more fashion weeks and brands to choose compassion and create a wildlife-free future of fashion.

Fox on a fur farm

End fashion cruelty

Pledge to not purchase, wear or promote any wild animal skins, feathers, or wild animal fur products.


Feathers are the new fur

Read our 'Feathers are the New Fur' report and learn how wild birds suffer for the fashion industry.

Fox at a fur farm

Wildlife free fashion

Right now, millions of wild animals are being captured, abused, bred, and mercilessly slaughtered so that the fashion industry can maximise their profit.

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