Animal Welfare

Animal welfare is an important part of a sustainable supply chain. Varner wishes to contribute to improve animal welfare practices in our industry by setting strict requirements for ourselves as well as for our suppliers. Animal Welfare Guidelines are therefor included in our Sustainability Manual. 

Ethical aspects shall always be taken into account when choosing suppliers of animal fibers. 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 Freedoms recommendations set by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and used as guidelines for all suppliers to Varner. 

  • Traceability

    The origin of animal fibers shall always be authenticated. Varner does not purchase leather or animal fibers from areas known for bad farming practices or for transporting animals under inhumane conditions.

    Farms shall follow requirements based on the UK Animal Welfare Council’s definitions on appropriate husbandry.

    Since 2014, Varner has certified all down products through the IDFL Standard. This certification covers traceability and animal welfare through the supply chain. No order is approved unless we have an IDLF certification.

    Varner joined the Textile Exchange in 2016. Through our membership, we will start with a new certification of our down products based on the Responsible Down Standard (RDS). We will be applying the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) on our wool products as soon as this standard is in place.

  • Wool

    We have a long-term goal to ensure full traceability of our wool products. All merino wool purchased for the production of our goods must have an approved certificate of origin.

    Through our membership in Textile Exchange we are working towards certifying all merino wool through the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) when all practical matters for the standard are ready.

    Varner has a strict ban when it comes to mulesing. Varner do not purchase any merino wool from Australia, unless we have a certified documentation proving the sheep has not been subjected to mulesing.

  • Down and Feathers

    All suppliers shall purchase down from a transparent and vertical supply chain, which must be verified during the process. Suppliers must therefore avoid purchasing down from collectors in the informal sector, agents or so called “township slaughterhouses”.

    Varner has a ban on live-plucking of down which all our suppliers are required to follow. This is also verified through our down audits that trace the down all the way to the farm.

  • Leather

    All leather products shall come from utility animals slaughtered for the meat market. Leather products shall be produced from animals such as pigs, sheep and cows.

    The slaughtering process must be done according to recognized standards.

    Tanneries (dyeing of the leather) are an important part of the production process. Varner requires full traceability for each order where all tanneries are listed for the specific product. Varner carries out random tannery inspections, in all of the tanneries used for our production. 

    Varner has a clear ban on use of tanneries from Bangladesh.

  • Bans
    • Varner does not allow any use of real fur in our products. This includes a total ban on angora rabbit fur and angora rabbit wool in our products. Only synthetic fur may be used in the production of our branded products.
    • Varner has a strict ban when it comes to mulesing. Varner does not purchase any merino wool from Australia, unless we have approved documentation proving the sheep have not been subjected to mulesing.
    • It is prohibited to use down from birds where live-plucking has been practiced.
    • The use of hides or skins from exotic animals or endangered species is prohibited. This includes – but is not limited to - crocodile, snake, alligator and seals.
    • No leather from live-skinning or live-boiling may be used.
    • Varner does not allow leather from tanneries in Bangladesh.
    • Varner do not allow animal testing on cosmetic products. All manufacturers are required to follow EU Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes.