Major Luxury brands and when they committed to going fur-free.
Kate Spade 1993 (since inception)
Calvin Klein 1994
Bottega Veneta 2001
Stella McCartney 2001 (since inception)
Vivienne Westwood 2007
Tommy Hilfiger 2007
Ralph Lauren 2007
Hugo Boss 2016
Maggie Marilyn 2016 (since inception)
Michael Kors 2017
Donna Karan New York 2018
John Galliano, the controversial Maison Margiela designer, recently announced that he's joining a growing list of powerful fashion designers who are denouncing the cruelty of fur.
Galliano, in an interview with Vice i-D's Charlotte Gush, explained how he once saw "fur as having a frivolous sense of debauchery", which really hits the nail on the head. The perceived naughtiness of fur is a romantic facade, while the actual brutalities of fur production are well-hidden, far and away from the editorials, runways and advertisements used to sell the fluff. Who could make eye contact with a fox languishing in a cage or a coyote struggling in a leg-hold trap and think, 'well, isn't this fun and decadent?'
Back in 2016, Armani announced his intention to move away from fur. While not the first major, luxury designer to do so, this announcement had a domino effect unlike anything prior. Soon to follow Armani was Hugo Boss, The Kooples, Gucci, Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo, Furla, Versace, Donna Karan and now Maison Margiela via Galliano.
Around the same time, the city of San Francisco, California joined the State of Sao Paolo, Brazil in voting to ban the sales of fur, while Norway - once a top producer of mink and fox pelts, voted to phase-out fur farming by 2025. These pieces of legislation are added to a growing list of cities, states and countries banning, limiting or phasing out fur across North & South America, Asia, Oceania and Europe.
Global Legislation limiting or banning the farming or sales of fur as of 2018.
- Austria, fur farming ban (effective 2004)
- Brazil, State of Sao Paolo, ban on fur farming, sales and imports (2014-15).
- Czech Republic, fur farming ban (2017, effective 2019)
- Croatia, fur farming ban (2007, effective 2017)
- Belgium, fox farming banned in Wallonia & Brussels
- Bosnia & Herzegovina, fur farming ban (2009, phase out by 2028)
- Denmark, ban on fox farming (2009, effective 2017-2023)
- Germany, regulations make fur farms unviable (2017, effective 2022)
- Hungary, ban on mink, fox & raccoon dog farming (2011)
- India, fur imports of fox, mink, chinchilla banned (2017)
- Japan, fur farming ban (2006, phased-out in 2016)
- Luxembourg (potential ban, effective 2019 if passed)
- Netherlands, fur farming ban (2012, phase-out by 2024)
- New Zealand, mink imports banned
- Northern Ireland, fur farming banned (2000)
- Norway, fur farming ban (2018, phase out by 2025)
- Republic of Macedonia, fur farming ban (2014, effective 2017)
- Serbia, fur farming ban (2019)
- Slovenia, fur farming ban (2013, effective 2015)
- Spain, mink farming ban (2015)
- Sweden, regulations make fox farms unviable (1995)
- Switzerland, regulations make all fur farms unviable
- United Kingdom, fur-farming ban (2000, effective 2003)
- USA, Berkeley, CA, Fur sales banned (2017)
- USA, New York, electrocution of fur animals banned (2008)
- USA, San Francisco, CA, Fur sales banned (2018, effective 2019)
- USA, West Hollywood, CA, USA, Fur sales banned (2011, effective 2013)
Source: Fur Free Alliance, Humane Society International
The luxury fashion industry is finally making this shift for a few major reasons. Firstly, activists and organizations all over the world have regularly met with design houses for years, conducted undercover investigations from Finland to China, created cruelty-free brands and materials, worked with legislators, social influencers, universities and design students, and took to the streets. Even top design school like Parsons in New York City, have severed ties to the fur industry.
Secondly, citizens and customers increasingly think animal cruelty is wrong, and they are demanding commitments to transparency and sustainability from companies, they are far more savvy regarding greenwashing, and they are more likely to have seen information and images about fur farming and fur trapping.
But perhaps the most convincing development has been material innovation. Advancements in textiles have made the need to raise and kill animals for their skins and pelts superfluous, and major designers are invigorated and inspired. Before long, we'll be growing furs in the laboratory (we already can do so with leather and silk), and synthetic furs are becoming indistinguishable from animal pelts, far more sustainable, and infinitely customizable.