Animal Welfare

A special responsibility for animal welfare
Many of the materials that HUGO BOSS uses for its products originate from animals – such as leather, wool, and down. This results in a special responsibility for animal welfare. That’s why it’s very important to the company to follow recognized standards for animal welfare and biodiversity. HUGO BOSS is opposed to both animal testing and inappropriate animal husbandry and breeding methods. The company avoids farmed furs and exotic leather types and exclusively uses leather produced as a by-product of the food industry.

HUGO BOSS strictly adheres to recognized animal and species-protection requirements such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). We also follow the guidelines of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIC) and recognize the five freedoms as a guiding principle for animal welfare. The five freedoms define certain freedoms related to minimum animal husbandry requirements.... In order to meet the recognized requirements of animal and species protection, HUGO BOSS has published an Animal Welfare Policy. The company drafted this with the help of the Animal Welfare Policy Development Guidelines in Textiles from the global animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS. The company's own measures, which have already been implemented, were also taken into account.

In addition, we have collaborated with animal welfare organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for many years to achieve improvements in animal welfare.

Last but not least, HUGO BOSS endeavors to replace animal materials with substitutes. For its efforts – such as the HUGO Menswear “Merat” parka – HUGO BOSS received the Vegan Fashion Award from PETA Germany in 2017. In 2020, we presented the first BOSS Menswear vegan suit that PETA Germany certified with the “PETA-Approved Vegan” label.

Vegan Fashion Award 2017


  • Use at HUGO BOSS

    Due to its luxurious appearance and high durability, leather is used in many HUGO BOSS products – for example, in jackets, shoes, bags, and accessories. In 2020, leather comprised 8 % of all our materials used.

  • Animal welfare aspects

    Animal welfare aspects such as the ethical treatment of animals and the protection of biodiversity are very important to us. The use of leather isn’t just an animal welfare issue, it also has environmental aspects, such as in the tanning process – read more about this under sustainable materials.

  • Measures

    In late 2016, HUGO BOSS stopped using farmed furs and exotic leather types. Instead, we exclusively use bovine hinds, goatskins, sheepskins, and buffalo hides that are produced as a by-product of the food industry.

    We also use vegan imitations in selected styles – In 2017 HUGO BOSS even received the "Vegan Fashion Award" from PETA and the vegan BOSS suit was certified with the "PETA-Approved Vegan" label in 2019. The company also endeavors to develop innovative alternatives in collaboration with external partners, such as startups, and encourage their use: in 2018 and 2019, we launched limited collections of sneakers made of natural Piñatex® fibers, which come from pineapple leaves and are produced by Ananas Anam.


  • Use at HUGO BOSS

    HUGO BOSS uses high-quality types of wool, such as Merino and cashmere, for its knitwear, suits, slacks, and more. This natural material has many positive properties: it is thermo-regulating, soft to the skin, and especially durable. In 2020, wool comprised 10 % of all our materials used.

  • Animal welfare aspects

    Wool is one of the most important fiber obtained from animals within the textile production. A responsible wool sourcing includes responsible sheep farming, the gentle shearing of the animals, and especially the avoidance of the painful mulesing process.

  • Measures

    The HUGO BOSS Wool Commitment describes all the requirements of responsible wool procurement and especially considers animal welfare aspects as mentioned above. We have already achieved what we set out to do by 2025: in our pure wool knitted products, we use 100% mulesing-free wool.

    The greatest challenge at the moment is the availability of responsible wool that meets the high quality standards of HUGO BOSS. Together with various initiatives such as the Textile Exchange’s Responsible Wool Standard (RWS), ZQ-Merino, the National Wool Declaration from AWEX as well as NATIVA and many other smaller organizations, HUGO BOSS is continuously increasing its share of responsible procurement. As such, the HUGO BOSS Wool Commitment will be continuously expanded.

    In addition, we have been working with the Aid by Trade Foundation to develop "The Good Cashmere Standard". The standard promotes the sourcing of responsibly produced cashmere fiber and defines the minimum requirements for the keeping and handling of cashmere goats to meet animal welfare standards. It also includes social and ecological criteria for responsibly produced cashmere products. We are also committed to sustainably produced cashmere fibers through our collaboration with the UNDP Mongolian Sustainable Cashmere Platform.

    In another animal welfare measure, HUGO BOSS avoids angora wool in its knitted products completely, because its production normally involves procedures that are extremely painful to the animals.


  • Use at HUGO BOSS

    This special kind of feather is popular due to its thermo-regulating properties. As such, it is used primarily for outerwear products at HUGO BOSS. In 2020, down comprised less than 1 % of all our materials used.

  • Animal welfare aspects

    Here, as well, animal welfare is crucial. Forced feeding and live plucking pose special problems.

  • Measures

    Starting with our fall/winter collection 2016, HUGO BOSS exclusively uses down that is produced without live plucking or forced feeding and has documented origins. We also use high-quality padding made of at least 60 % recycled materials, such as PET bottles, in many of our styles. For more information, see More sustainable materials.


Current Topics

HUGO BOSS cooperates with Canopy to protect endangered forests

Repurpose – fabrics rediscovered

Climate neutrality is one of the core elements of the new HUGO BOSS strategy