Retailer Primark has become the first company in the world to receive the Vegan Certification mark from German inspection services group TÜV Rheinland for fashion products.

TÜV Rheinland Vegan Certification is said to be the first mark that not only declares a product as vegan but that it has been tested and inspected by an independent third party. The certified product is declared free of animal-derived materials such as silk, wool, leather, pearl, feather, down, bone, exotic skins or fur.

It also verifies process chemicals that have been declared by the producer to be free of substances of animal origin.

The tests are based on legal labelling requirements for textiles and shoes as well as verification based on a Bill of Materials (BOM). All materials are either checked by microscopic analysis, fibre analysis or other appropriate test methods. Suppliers of process chemicals have to provide a declaration of conformity, stating that their products are manufactured without any raw materials of animal origin.

The test mark will be issued and valid for one year after completion of testing, document review, and factory inspection by TÜV Rheinland auditors.

Fast fashion retailer Primark has received the Vegan Mark for its clothing, shoes and carrier bags. 

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Veganism is increasingly becoming a lifestyle choice for many people and, alongside non-animal derived food products, consumers are also looking for vegan-friendly clothing and footwear.

Last month, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) issued new guidelines to help retailers and brands source vegan fashion products, setting out steps and questions to ask both internally and of suppliers when purchasing products that claim to be free from animal-derived materials.

The guideline chimes with advice to fashion firms last year on the difficulties in entering this complex market.

Retailers including Topshop and Asos have all launched ‘vegan’ clothing and footwear lines. UK fashion retailer New Look was the first high-street fashion retailer to register ranges with The Vegan Society’s Vegan Trademark.