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Annual Review – What ACTAsia got up to in 2023

From ACTAsia
January 2024

ACTAsia’s mission is to: ‘Drive compassion and kindness amongst Asian societies through the education of children, consumers, and professionals.


In 2023 we have worked harder than ever to deliver our goals. Against a backdrop of global uncertainty and facing an environmental crisis, ACTAsia’s education programmes are more important than ever.

2023 has seen ACTAsia continuing to reach an increased number of children, consumers and professionals with our vision for a more compassionate world for animals, people and the environment. ACTAsia’s established events and programmes have continued to grow and innovate in 2023 and have reached an even wider audience.

It’s impossible to list all the incredible work that ACTAsia has achieved in 2023 but we wanted to share some of the major events of 2023:

First Quarter:

1. In 2023, the collaboration between ACTAsia and the London College of Fashion yielded a transformative impact on the fashion landscape. Through our Collaborative Challenge unit partnership, we engaged with some of the best students in the world, offering them an opportunity to challenge and reshape the fashion industry. The collaboration emphasises the meaningful partnership between ACTAsia and one of the world’s best fashion schools. It highlights the potential for positive change in the global fashion industry and enables future fashion professionals and leaders to learn more about the issues of using fur through education and innovation. The work was truly inspirational!

2. ACTAsia’s Caring for Life education for children published its Year 4 Lesson Plans in Chinese as an approved resource in China. As a result, 2,399 children learned vital new skills about the world around them and the importance of compassionate behaviour as part of the 4th year of the CFL course. The lesson plans topics included City Waste, Personal Environmental Footprint, Exotic Animals as Pets, Social Disadvantage and Disability. The impact was evident in the enhanced knowledge and empathy shown towards people, animals and the environment. Educators also commented on the positive engagement observed among the children who actively participated in the lessons. This is a vital step in ensuring access and retaining the integrity of our curriculum shared within China and a step closer to our goal of having the CFL course adopted into the national curriculum.

3. ACTAsia proudly unveiled the profound impact of its groundbreaking Caring for Life (CFL) education programme through our continued evaluation of the programme. Over a decade ago, Bill Samuels – a trailblazer in humane education research across Asia – joined forces with ACTAsia. His pioneering work culminated in our first Success Story of the year, showcasing the remarkable strides that have been made in nurturing humane attitudes and fostering prosocial behaviours among students in Eastern China.

Second Quarter:

1. ACTAsia’s Compassion in Fashion Forum achieved a historic milestone by attracting its largest online audience to date of 105,000 people. Esteemed speakers addressed the urgent need to work towards a fur free future, compelling change amidst the fashion industry’s cruelty, waste and carbon emissions. The success of the Forum confirmed ACTAsia’s standing within the professional fashion industry and ability to create change within institutions. The Forum was also seen as a driving force for delivering a more compassionate and sustainable future in China’s fashion industry.

2. In an extraordinary endeavour, our team, together with five veterinary trainers undertook the challenging journey to the remote high-altitude province of Qinghai, China to deliver critical vet training. More than 2,000 local Chinese veterinarians joined ACTAsia’s vital vet training initiative online, with 70 vets able to attend the theory day in person. This vital training marked a pivotal moment in advancing veterinary knowledge and expertise. ACTAsia’s outreach to a remote region in need had a huge impact in helping improve animal welfare and combating zoonotic diseases such as rabies.

3. Over 34,000 children celebrated Earth Day in our pioneer schools in China. As part of this year’s theme, ‘Invest in our Planet’, children participated in fun and impactful activities exploring the serious issue of climate change. The Earth Day programme not only fosters environmental awareness and animal protection, but empowers the next generation to invest actively in the wellbeing of our planet.

Third Quarter:

1. ACTAsia’s 2023 Plant Forward Campaign experienced remarkable growth in its second year by reaching over 10 million views on social media. Plant Forward, the first plant-based lifestyle campaign in Asia, expanded our reach to nine countries and was presented in five Asian languages. Run in conjunction with our Compassionate Choices Network partners, the campaign engaged over 1.4 million people, inspiring Asian consumers to embrace the advantages of a plant-based, sustainable lifestyle. (More details below).

2. Teaming up with global food giant Oatly, ACTAsia was honoured to host Chloe Lin at our annual Plant Forward campaign in September 2023. This collaboration – which is rooted in our shared values of sustainability – advocates for plant-based diets, reducing carbon emissions, combating climate change, and halting biodiversity loss. The impact of this alliance extends beyond the event. We aim to contribute to a more sustainable future by promoting plant-based living and addressing pressing environmental challenges.

3. ACTAsia made a lasting impact at Shenzhen Fashion Week through its Compassion in Fashion Forum, influencing significant changes in both individual choices and industry practices. The 9th International Fur Free Sustainable Fashion Festival featured the theme: ‘From Fur Free to ESG’. Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance demonstrates how a company’s products and services contribute towards sustainable development. The theme brought together experts and advocates who addressed the need to collaborate, develop strategies and mobilise change for a more caring future. A groundbreaking addition to Shenzhen Fashion Week 2023 was a lifestyle exhibition showcasing fur free brands alongside plant-based food, cruelty-free cosmetics and lifestyle brands.

Fourth Quarter:

1. ACTAsia’s Consumer Fur Survey results – the most comprehensive survey of it’s kind about Chinese fur consumers since 2018 – were published following extensive surveys into China’s fur usage and consumer trends. The 2023 findings revealed concerning shifts in attitudes towards fur. Infographics highlighted the current trends and attitudes towards fur. The results of the survey emphasised the crucial role of research in understanding evolving demands. Our research is vital in educating consumers and steering the industry towards a more compassionate and informed future.

2. ACTAsia actively promotes the need for driving impactful change in the field of One Health. The multidisciplinary research journal Frontiers in Animal Science, published an academic paper on One Health implications of fur farming citing ACTAsia’s work. This recognition reflects our unwavering commitment to the One Health principle, which The World Health Organisation defines as: ‘an integrated, unifying approach to balance and optimise the health of people, animals, and the environment’. ACTAsia champions the importance of a One Health concept and Pei has spoken at many international conferences on the subject.

3. ACTAsia’s Caring for Life (CFL) education programme demonstrated its crucial impact through recognition in the International Journal of Educational Research. This highly influential and respected academic publication platform evaluated the impact of Caring for Life education for children. The paper, ‘Learning to Care,’ thoroughly assessed the CFL programme’s effects on cognitive empathy among lower-elementary students. The peer-reviewed article emphasised how the programme not only improved children’s empathy but also improved wellbeing outcomes. 

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