Fur Free Conscious Fashion: ACTAsia at Shenzhen Fashion Week

A greener, healthy future hinges on fur free, conscious fashion. ACTAsia’s educational and inspirational bi-annual Compassion in Fashion Forum assembles distinguished international speakers to share insights and innovations into building an ethical and sustainable fashion industry.

Our fall Forum, which focused on the theme From Fur Free to ESG, took place on September 17th at Shenzhen Fashion Week. We were joined by a diverse array of experts who discussed the urgency and possibilities for the responsible development of the fashion industry. ‘In recent years, the fashion world has witnessed a profound shift towards greater ethical consciousness and sustainability,’ shares Echo Liu, Head of Programmes at ACTAsia China.

The devastating harms caused by the fashion industry and its fur trade have become undeniable. The impacts span animal welfare, the environment and global health. ACTAsia’s Compassion in Fashion Forums are always a highlight of our annual International Fur Free and Sustainable Fashion Festival which we have now been celebrating for 9 years. We bring together experts and advocates, addressing the need to collaborate, develop strategies, and mobilise change for a more caring future. 

Held as part of AW2023 official Shenzhen Fashion Week, the theme for ACTAsia’s Compassion in Fashion Forum was ‘Fur Free for the Green Development of the Industry’. In the face of immense levels of cruelty, waste and carbon emissions produced by the fashion industry, the Compassion in Fashion Forum was a riveting and mobilising appeal for change. 

Championing Ethical and Sustainable Fashion

For the second year running, our Compassion in Fashion Forums have taken place as part of Shenzhen Fashion Week (SZFW) in partnership with the Shenzhen Garment Industry Association (SGIA). As China’s capital for womenswear, Shenzhen is an integral city for promoting sustainable and fur free fashion. We are incredibly proud to share our compassionate message in such an influential context. 

sustainable clothes and fashion goods on display
Sustainable, cruelty free fashion on display

From Fur Free to ESG

ACTAsia is committed to empowering consumers and retailers alike to make ethical decisions for conscious fashion and a fur free future. Compassion in Fashion serves not only as a platform for discussion but a call to action on both sides of the supply and demand cycle. ACTAsia’s Forums foster connections amongst all aspects of the fashion ecosystem, using fur-free as the first step toward sustainable practices. The goal is to harmonise style, conscience and innovation to ultimately reshape the relationship between animals, humans and the earth. 

‘The fur free message is no longer solely an ethical one for animals. The need to take action and make compassionate and sustainable choices is our joint responsibility to ensure that our global health can be protected.’

– Pei Su, ACTAsia CEO & Co-Founder

Our forums are recognised as part of the UN’s ​​Conscious Fashion + Lifestyle Network, placing us at the forefront of advancing a fur free and sustainable future through environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) considerations. They promote critical thinking and social, humane, and environmental responsibility amongst wide audiences. In April, our Spring 2023 Forum was dedicated to empowering industry professionals to build a harmonious, fur free future. This week’s Autumn Forum was geared toward consumers and younger generations. Our speakers provided invigorating information, powerful resources, and inspirational stories of conscious fashion and decision-making.

‘Together, we can usher in a new era for the fashion industry, one where style, conscience, and innovation harmonise.’

– Echo Liu, ACTAsia China Head of Programmes

Forum Venue
Our inspiring lineup of speakers for this year’s Compassion in Fashion Forum

From individual choices to industry shifts, the collective drive at our Compassion in Fashion Forums is influencing comprehensive changes toward fur free, conscious fashion. By bringing together the vanguard of sustainable fashion choices to share and inspire, ACTAsia’s forums continue to strengthen the momentum of the fur free movement.

Inspiring Insights from our Forum Speakers

The Compassion in Fashion Forum brought together unique perspectives on the fur-free, sustainable movement. Our speakers represented diverse facets of the fashion and sustainability landscape, emphasising that a compassionate fashion industry is a shared responsibility demanding action from all. Let’s delve into their fascinating presentations: 

Lexie Chen, co-founder of RELOOK, emphasised the importance of empowering youth to embrace ESG for sustainable leadership and ethical consumer decision-making. Young people are increasingly interested in sustainability and climate change. We need to provide platforms and opportunities for their leadership development. ‘When the youth face new problems, they search for new solutions,’ Ms. Chen shared, ‘they are realistic idealists looking for sustainability in this world.’ 

Kang Jian, founder of VEGATEX, enlightened the audience about sustainable fabrics and their role in a greener fashion future. ‘VEGATEX,’ shared Mr. Jian, ‘transforms waste from the beverage industry into plant-based leather, textiles and fibre,’ reducing waste, carbon emissions and harm to animals. 

David Tring, founder and head of the Magic of Denim consultancy, shed light on the responsibility of educating the next generation about the denim industry’s environmental impact. ‘80% of decisions impacting environmental impact occur at the design stage,’ he shared. ‘There’s a lot we can do to bring industry and education together.’ 

Shen Yiren, curator of contemporary art, cultural heritage, and social sustainability, emphasised the importance of social sustainability in the fashion global industry. ‘Sustainability,’ Ms. Yiren explained, ‘is the common ground and the mutual objective through which all lives join forces for long-term growth. This perspective encourages a holistic approach to sustainability with individuals and industries working together to create lasting change. 

Joy Lee, Caring for Life Project Officer and Compassionate Choices Network (CCN) Coordinator at ACTAsia, shared insights from ACTAsia’s research on the fur industry and consumer trends. ACTAsia’s extensive consumer research reveals a clear shift amongst consumers toward fur free preferences. This is driven by increased awareness of the fur industry’s impacts on animals, the environment, and human health. Education is also a key force behind this positive change. Consumer education and ACTAsia’s fur free programmes, Ms. Lee highlights, ‘are effective in changing the attitudes and behaviour of the general public.’ 

Dive deeper into the insights shared at ACTAsia’s Compassion in Fashion Forum during the Shenzhen Fashion Week. Explore the Quote Cards of Key Speakers here

Vegan Asian Delicacies
Attendees enjoyed our vegan, plant-based menu, underlining ACTAsia’s commitment to a Plant Forward message

Shaping a Sustainable Future Together

The message of our fall 2023 Forum was clear: ESG and sustainability are the future of fashion, and collaboration and education are the keys to success. ACTAsia’s Compassion in Fashion Forum at Shenzhen Fashion week was not merely an event, but an energetic catalyst for change. By championing fur free, conscious fashion, the Forum inspires change, influences industry practices, and educates future leaders. As we move forward together, we can shape a vibrant fashion industry that thrives with responsible, sustainable and ethical practices.

Thank you to our fantastic speakers for participating in our From Fur Free to ESG Compassion in Fashion Forum 2023. Events like these help us push closer to a sustainable and ethical future in fashion and the world. We are incredibly grateful for our growing audiences and support!

You can watch the Compassion in Fashion Forum: Fur Free for the Green Development of the Industry here!

If you’re inspired by our mission and wish to make a positive change, consider donating to ACTAsia. Your contribution directly fuels our efforts, ensuring that the ethical and sustainable message of fashion spreads even further. Every donation counts, no matter the size. Help us further our cause and ensure a kinder future for animals, people, and our planet. Donate here