From all-creatures.org
and The Mary T. and
Frank L. Hoffman
Family Foundation

Letter from Sarah About Animals Used in Clothing - 17 Feb 2010

Dear Frank and Mary,

Thank you for your email.

I have donated money to you last night. I hope this will help too.

I have contacts abroad in China, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh who can spread the word.

I will also use the contacts I have for retailers in Britain, South Africa, Europe and the US.

I suspect though that out of the 1st world retailers the trade of fur is more fierce for the US and Eastern Europe.

Of all the trade shows and suppliers I know across Britain very few of them have presented fur for trade, those that have presented such a trade work in leather and usually have some form of certification to prove their source as well as their ethical policies.

The best way around this problem is to eradicate the fur trade entirely, like you say. But there are also two other ways:

1. Transparency in supply chain – if the government were to introduce legislation where it became law for all retailers to present their full supply chain from source this would certainly help to eradicate the problem. Making consumers aware of where their garments come from and how they are produced affects sales as consumers are becoming more ethical in their shopping habits compared to previous decades.
2. Enforcing ethical policies – if the garment were to make it compulsory for retailers to take the responsibility of ethical purchasing and production this would also dramatically reduce the problem. Just like it is law not to use child labour, it could be law not to be involved in animal cruelty.

Have you thought about pursuing this in America and approaching your government on these issues?

Marks and Spencers here have initiated the first British Standard on Carbon Foot printing, whereby the carbon footprint of each garment is traced and measured from source to store and presented to the consumer on the product labeling prior to purchase – very clever ethical marketing - the same can be done with fur and leather.

I suspect this will be the next bit of marketing to hit the food sector.

I do hope all of this is of some help.

Warm Regards,


Reply from Frank and Mary Hoffman

Dear Sarah:

Thank you very much for all the help.

One of the problems we encountered here in the US is that they did pass a law about disclosure, but they also a 'floor cost' on it, so that almost all trim would be under the cost that required disclosure.

This is the only issue we have been able to get legislation for, and we don't believe it is being enforced very well.

The other problem is that there really isn't any truly ethical way to have animal products in wearing apparel, because all the animals suffer so humans can have their skins (leather and fur) and their wool. Have you seem our animal exploitation journals for cattle and sheep?

The greatest polluters of the air, water, and soil are the animal agriculture industries, and yet we see almost nothing mentioned about eliminating animal products to be 'green'. Is this being included in what is happening in the UK?

In the Love of the Lord,

Frank and Mary