ACTAsia’s Fur Free and Sustainable Fashion Festival
ACTAsia hosts an annual International Fur Free Sustainable Fashion Festival in major Chinese cities with renowned international speakers who discuss the ethical issues behind fur production, the environmental impact and the importance of sustainable fashion. ACTAsia hosted its 8th annual Festival in 2022.
Why does ACTAsia host a major international fashion festival?
The fur free message is no longer solely an ethical one, just for animals, and the need to take action and make compassionate and sustainable choices is now a joint responsibility for consumers and retailers. The goal of the Festival is to inform industry and consumers of the story behind fur, the brutal cruelty and catastrophic environmental damage that results from fur production and to encourage retailers to adopt a fur free and sustainable future. The annual event welcomes a range of highly experienced speakers including NGOs, the Department of International Trade at the British Consulate, fashion and beauty corporates and talented young fashion designers. Discussion at the Festival covers topics surrounding present and future policies with the unilateral goal of ‘Compassion in Fashion’ – highlighting that sustainability begins with fur free.
The History of ACTAsia’s Fashion Festivals
ACTAsia’s Fashion Show was first held in Beijing. It has since been held in Shanghai for a number of years, moving to the up-and-coming city of Chongqing in 2021. Shenzhen was the venue for the 2022 Festival and ACTAsia was delighted that for the first time ACTAsia’s Compassion in Fashion Forum was part of Shenzhen Fashion Week (SZFW). Shenzhen is a highly respected fashion-centric city, boasting a high concentration of designers and manufacturers and the celebrated SZFW is widely recognised for its progressive and sustainable agenda meaning that ACTAsia’s message could be delivered to an even wider audience.
The events have evolved over the years with incredible additions. Recent Festivals have included a sensational fur free art exhibition with stunning sculptures and drawings and a fur free bazaar. In 2021 an award-winning Chinese illustrator created artwork about ‘Why Fur is Cruel’ and a professor from Shenyang University exhibited stunning sculptures of fur animals covered in needles under the title of ‘Fur Hurts’.
ACTAsia’s work with Fur Free Retailer
ACTAsia’s Fur Free programme is run in conjunction with the Fur Free Retailer (FFR) the world’s leading program to connect fur free companies to consumers seeking ethical goods. The FFR scheme specifically aims to encourage companies to go fur free and further the spirit of ethical consumerism. As part of the FFR scheme, ACTAsia has recruited 72 brands in China, and continues to encourage fashion designers and retailers to pledge never to use real fur. More than 1500 retailers have joined the international scheme to-date.
Who has spoken at ACTAsia’s Forum – the highlight of the Festival
High-profile international specialists and renowned Chinese speakers are welcomed to the Festival to speak at ACTAsia’s Forum to promote the need for sustainable fur free fashion. Through these Forums, ACTAsia’s audience reach has grown exponentially over the years to include designers, retailers, producers, suppliers, trade associations and consumers. During COVID years the Forums have also grown into hybrid formats to allow for both in person attendance and online viewings. In 2021, ACTAsia had over 8,200 people viewing our two fashion Forums.
International experts have been welcomed to the Festival from global fashion and beauty industries. ACTAsia was thrilled that Stella McCartney opened the Festival in 2020 with her catwalk show and went on to speak out about ACTAsia’s incredible work educating consumers and retailers. Other international experts include:
- John Lau, Dean of Academic Strategy at London College Fashion
- Kehua Hu Sustainability Stewardship Director at the Office for Social Responsibility at China
- Robert Butler, Consul Economic and Political at British Consulate Shanghai
- Melissa Hobbs Founder of The Vegan Company
- Victoria Ho Co-Founder and Head designer at FASHION4FREEDOM
- John Nguyen Department of International Trade at the British Consulate
- Adele Ren, Sector Lead Cosmetics, UK-China Business Environment Programme,
- Zhou Wanping Deputy to the National People’s Congress
- Rachel Cernansky Senior Sustainability Editor at Vogue Business
- Ming Pan President of the Shenzhen Garment Industry Association (SGIA)
- Kerry Bannigan Executive Director of Fashion Impact Fund and Founder of the Conscious Fashion Campaign
- Dominique Simard Executive Director of SGIA Fashion Industry Sustainable Development Working Committee
- Richard Bisset Campaign Manager at Respect for Animals
Find out more about ACTAsia’s incredible impact in combatting the use of fur worldwide.