Annual Review 2021
Against a backdrop of uncertainty and an ever-changing world as a result of the pandemic, climate change and technological advances, ACTAsia made huge inroads in 2021 in its strategic objective of delivering sustainable social change through education. In 2021 our programmes reached a record number of children, consumers and professionals, who all share in our goal to respect people, animals and the environment.
MAJOR EVENTS IN 2021
ACTAsia’s Fur Free Sustainable Fashion Forum – which brought together experts from around the world to present and discuss sustainability, fashion, fur and technology – was hosted online in May attracting 4 million views. This event was aimed at brands and business. This was followed by ACTAsia’s 7th International Annual Fur Free and Sustainable Fashion Festival in October in the up-and-coming city of Chongqing.
At this year’s Festival, ACTAsia commissioned a stunning multi-sensory art exhibition which enabled the public to experience what fur fashion means to humans, animals and the environment. Stunning sculptures of animals made from needles sat alongside illustrations on the theme of ‘why fur is cruel’.
This year marked ACTAsia’s first contribution to Earth Day by offering our Caring for Life (CFL) enrichment lesson plans to schools and organisations across China. ACTAsia shared its two newly written (2020) enrichment modules on Climate Change and Biodiversity. We were delighted that 52 schools and clubs signed up, reaching an estimated 24,500 children over the course of the Earth Day events.
ACTAsia’s, CEO, Pei Su was invited to speak at the United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF) alongside key names from leading international NGOs in July. The HLPF is the main United Nations platform on sustainable development. In her speech, Pei spoke about how frontline organisations can implement a One Health model into everyday life, recognising the vital importance of the interdependence of people, animals and the environment. One Health is at the heart of ACTAsia’s work with children’s education, professional education and consumer education.
IN THE PRESS IN 2021
In May the practice of animal ‘Blind Boxes’ – a shocking craze involving live animals being transported and trapped inside boxes – was uncovered by the global media and Pei was interviewed by CNN to discuss this and ACTAsia’s work in raising awareness about improving animal welfare in China through education.
In June 2021, Pei was interviewed by Australia ABC on China Tonight on the subject of pet ownership in China and she was also interviewed by Vogue Business in September following the news that the fashion house Kering (whose brands include Gucci, Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen) were going fur free.
Over the course of 2021, ACTAsia’s CEO, Pei has been interviewed by numerous global media outlets including Reuters, BBC, Blomberg, CNN, ABC, Mongabay and Jing Daily.
AWARDS IN 2021
In June, The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs awarded ACTAsia ‘Good Practices’ for our Caring for Life children’s education programme. ACTAsia is incredibly proud of this award and recognition of our work and we hope the award will help us to reach more children.
ACTAsia was also accepted by the UN into the Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle Network. ACTAsia is now responsible for updating our work with the network in order to highlight the reach and results from our annual activities.
ACTAsia’s Caring for Life children’s education received Best Programme at the China Charity Festival in January.
CARING FOR LIFE (CFL) EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN IN 2021
ACTAsia’s unique six-year curriculum for all primary school years, which encompasses social welfare and citizenship, animal welfare and environmental issues and recognises the interdependence of all living things, has reached 13,253 more children in 2021 at nine pioneer schools. CFL education has held special seminars on the subjects of Earth Day, children’s mental health, (involving more than 5,500 psychologists, educators, philosophers and people from all walks of life) and raising awareness about the use of plastics.
ACTAsia highlighted a typical day in the life of Ms Luo who teaches the CFL curriculum and how her lessons are opening hearts and minds.
CARING FOR LIFE FOR PROFESSIONALS IN 2021
ACTAsia continued to work with vets across China with our Train the Trainer (TTT) programme which promotes fundamental standards in the treatment of companion animals with veterinarians learning best practice through a course of workshops.
ACTAsia launched the Compassion in Fashion Course – the world’s first fur free and sustainable fashion course for professionals and university fashion students. The course was launched on futurelearn.com – a British digital education platform. Students attended from 67 countries with 49% of participants being ‘Gen Z’.
ACTAsia trained hundreds of primary school teachers via our Caring for Life education Continuing Professional Development (CPD) webinar. Five CPD seminars were hosted in 2021, with 176 teachers taking part. An additional 219 teachers were trained in person using ACTAsia’s CCTalk – an online training tool for practical use in schools.
ACTAsia celebrated our second year in collaboration with the London College of Fashion tutoring a Masters course in the Collaborative Challenge Module. This year also marked our second year delivering our CFL teacher’s training course at Suzhou University for Science and Technology whereupon completion of the module results in credits towards the student’s teaching qualification. Cultivating teachers who understand Caring for Life is part of our long-term plan to make CFL sustainable.
CARING FOR LIFE FOR CONSUMERS IN 2021
ACTAsia has worked tirelessly educating the fashion world about the dangers of fur production to animals, people and the environment and how it is impacting climate change.
Major breakthroughs were made in our Fur Free mission in 2021. As previously mentioned, global fashion house Kering announced their fur free commitment in September and this was followed by ELLE magazine declaring their fur free stance across their publications in December. We are very proud that so many ELLE editions in Asia (including China) have joined this fur free promise after years of our discussions with ELLE China.
ACTAsia are very excited that our Asia Compassionate Choices Network (CCN) was launched in the summer of 2021. The network is ACTAsia’s new venture, so far working with five Asian organisations from Japan, Vietnam, India, mainland China, and Taiwan. ACTAsia hopes to support Asian leaders in identifying solutions for the challenges that they are facing in Asia by highlighting the importance of making compassionate choices in the areas of food, clothing, the home and transport. The goal is to enable Asian leaders to make the right choices in order to help combat global climate issues.
ACTAsia’s theme for our global events this year has been Compassionate Choices. This theme has been directed at consumers by focusing on fur free and dietary changes. We celebrated innovation and how consumers can make daily choices which will have a positive impact on people, animals and the environment. We promoted plant-based diets and provided plant-based food at all our events and trainings sessions.
With all eyes on COP26 in November, ACTAsia reiterated the damage caused to the environment damage as a result of fur production.
INFOGRAPHIC OF STATS
MAPS OF IMPACT WHERE ACTION WAS TAKEN
WHAT WE WANT TO ACHIEVE IN 2022
We are excited by ACTAsia’s 2022 goals – here are some of ACTAsia’s aims:
- We hope to enrol more schools to teach our CFL education for children and host more summer camps
- ACTAsia plans to conduct a research study into the impact of CFL over a three-year period
- We want to add new designers to the Fur Free Retailer scheme
- We plan to hold additional TTT events initially in Wuhan and Qinghai and recruit new veterinarian trainers to the network
- ACTAsia is also excited to be hosting our 8th Annual Fur Free and Sustainable Fashion Festival in 2022.