Compassion in Fashion: ACTAsia host 7th International Fur Free Fashion Festival

2021 marks ACTAsia’s 7th annual International Sustainable Fur Free Fashion Festival and we are excited that this year’s festival will be taking place, for the first time, in the city of Chongqing on 20th October. Fashion-conscious and internationally up-and-coming, Chongqing has a population of 31 million, and we are confident that the new location of the Festival will be pivotal in the success of the event. ACTAsia has witnessed fantastic momentum over the years supporting our fur free goal and gained an excellent reputation within the fashion industry. Over this time, iconic and inspirational brands and designers have supported our work and voiced their views as fur free advocates within the industry.

What is happening at the Festival?

The event will be tailored to the consumer – ensuring that the consumer knows what they can expect from brands in terms of sustainability and their commitment to being fur free. Consumers will be able to see how brands mirror shared values of compassion towards animals and the environment. This year’s theme, ‘Compassionate Choices’ is directed at consumers, alerting them to the fact that they can make choices which will have a positive impact on animals and the environment. 

Who are the Guest Speakers at the Event? 

The event, hosted in conjunction with John Lau London College of Fashion, will welcome a range of highly experienced speakers including NGOs, Department of International Trade at the British Consulate, fashion and beauty corporates and talented young fashion designers. Discussion at the Festival will cover topics surrounding present and future policies with the unilateral goal of Compassion in Fashion – highlighting that sustainability begins with fur free. Among the speakers we are thrilled to welcome: 

  • Adele Ren, Sector Lead Cosmetics, The British Standards Institution, speaking about: ‘Beauty without Cruelty’ the recent changes in China from animal testing to safety assessment  
  • Elaine Siu, Chief Innovation Officer of Material Innovation Initiative speaking about: ‘Consumer trends to the future’
  • Karen Du, Managing Director, R.I.S.E Sustainable Fashion Lab, speaking about: ‘Beyond Sustainability’
  • Danqi Chen, DONSEE10, speaking about: ‘A brand of Influence’ and why they joined Fur Free Retailers

Stunning ‘Fur Free’ Art Exhibition at the Festival

This year ACTAsia has commissioned a stunning multi-sensory art exhibition whereby visitors will learn about serious issues through art. The exhibition will allow the public to experience what fur fashion means to humans, animals and the environment.  ACTAsia has invited artists to exhibit under the theme ‘Fur Free’.  

Award-winning Chinese illustrator, NuanNuan has created artwork about ‘Why Fur is Cruel’ and presents ten question and answers about fur through illustrations to the public. This work considers the impact to the animals and the environmental damage and sparks discussion about faux fur and whether this is a necessity for consumers. 

Xie Yong, a professor at Shenyang University’s Art Department, will be exhibiting his sculptures and artwork of fur animals covered in needles under the title of ‘Fur Hurts’. Xie’s artworks are a fantastic way for children and young Chinese to learn more about animal welfare and protection and to re-emphasise the message as to why China needs to go fur free.  

In addition to the sculptures, John Lau from London College of Fashion (LCF), will be presenting his March cover from Fashion Zoo magazine ‘#Beyond Fur’. John is Associate Dean of Design and Technology at LCF, and his work will feature alongside LCF’s student work, plus several past ‘Design Against Fur’ winners who will also be displaying their art. The exhibition will be available for two weeks.

Welcoming New Fur Free Designers to the Fur Free Retailers Network 

ACTAsia is eagerly anticipating the unveiling of new designers to the Fur Free Retailers network at the Festival and will welcome these designers who are examples of young, exciting, driven, Generation Z designers all aspiring to sustainable fashion and who have chosen to take the fur free path. They are groundbreaking in their work and inspire others, leading the way towards change in the fashion industry. 

The Fur Free Retailer (FFR) Scheme in China currently includes 53 brands and retailers within the scheme – joining an international network of over 1500 luxury and everyday brands that consumers want to wear. These brands have stepped forward to make the commitment to be fur free and offer consumers a compassionate choice. 

Fur Free Day on 20th October  

As part of this year’s Festival, ACTAsia has launched our inaugural ‘Fur Free Day’ on 20th October 2021 to celebrate our educational work and to further promote the fur free message to all consumers.  On this day we plan to celebrate compassionate consumer choices and support the brands that have committed to a fur free future within the Fur Free Retailer network – both in China and internationally.

Fur Free Bazaar

Another new addition to this year’s Festival is the Fur Free Bazaar which will be the final event of this year’s festival taking place on 20th November. Based at the Super Zoo Cultural Creative Hub, retailers will be invited to share the area to sell their wares which are all fur free. Shoppers will find a variety of items including exciting arts and crafts, clothing, home furnishings, candles and plants on sale. Super Zoo will be serving their new plant-based ‘fox cake’ encouraging shoppers to further change their behaviour. We hope that by providing these ‘compassionate choices’ that it will start the conversation among consumers surrounding the topic of fur and how consumers can use their choices, and therefore power, to create change towards a fur free future.

Thanks to Conscientious Sponsors of the Event

The October Fashion Festival is held in collaboration with China Biodiversity Conservation & Green Development Foundation and Super Zoo. As our China partners, both understand the real urgency to protect animals and combat climate change by promoting sustainable practice and offering compassionate choices to consumers. We are excited that Super Zoo will be promoting a new plant-based menu option for their customers. In addition, all food on offer at our festival will be plant based to encourage healthy and tasty alternatives to eating meat. Finally, we would also like to thank the British Consulate General Shanghai Department of International Trade, British Council, Open Philanthropy, Animal People Forum and GAIA’s for all their fantastic support which has enabled us to make this festival bigger and reach even wider audiences every year in China. 

ACTAsia’s UN Fashion Award

Hosting the Compassion in Fashion event this year has extra significance for ACTAsia, following our recent UN award. In 2021, ACTAsia became a member of the UN’s Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle Network, which aims to accelerate the fashion industry’s progress towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal targets for 2030. ACTAsia aims to support this progress through our educational work and targeted events with the goal of reducing demand for fur in the fashion industry. ACTAsia strives for sustainable fashion – where animals, people and the environment are each fully considered.