Fashion labels prefer to go fur-free

Fashion labels prefer to go fur-free

Is this the beginning of the end for fur? With more and more fashion houses going fur-free, San Francisco banning fur sales in the city and British MPs considering outlawing all imports of pelts after Brexit, the signs do not seem good for the industry.

After decades of hard-hitting campaigning against fur, animal rights activists believe they scent victory.

Last week Donna Karan and DKNY became the latest in a flood of luxury brands to say they were planning to go fur free, following similar announcements by Gucci, Versace, Furla, Michael Kors, Armani and Hugo Boss in recent months.

US-based animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), which is famous for its spectacular anti-fur protests, declared that "2018 is the year that everyone is saying goodbye to fur.

"Times are changing and the end of fur farming is within reach!" it told its 687,000 Instagram followers.

The British-based Humane Society International said the tide turned when Gucci declared it was going fur-free in October. Another hammer blow came this month when Donatella Versace said that "I don't want to kill animals to make fashion. It doesn't feel right."

"Such influential brands turning their backs on cruel fur makes the few designers like Fendi and Burberry who are still peddling fur look increasingly out of touch and isolated," said society's president Kitty Block.

Fendi's Karl Lagerfeld shows little sign of second thoughts, however, and has said he will use real fur as long as "people eat meat and wear leather".

But PETA, which also campaigns for veganism, has warned the leather industry that is also in its sights, saying "You are next..."

And Professor Nathalie Ruelle, of the French Fashion Institute, said that it was telling that the new fur-free brands "did not say anything about exotic leathers (such as crocodile, lizard and snakeskin)."

Of the big designers, Stella McCartney, a vegetarian and animal rights activist herself, has pushed the ethical envelope the furthest, refusing to use fur, leather or feathers. But vegans want to go further still, with a ban on all animal products, which for some also means wool.

 

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