Beauty does not need sacrifices. Stories of fashion houses that refused to sell fur

    01 Aug 2021

    No matter how interested you are in fashion, it affects our lives in one way or another. The same story is with politics and environmental conservation, states Olena Baran, representative of the UA Plant-Based campaign, in her article for Rubryka.

    In “The Devil Wears Prada,” the protagonist, editor of a fashion magazine very similar to Vogue, explains to her assistant, who is as far away from high fashion as possible, that the color for her sweater was developed by world-class designers a few years ago. Then this color “went down” from couture to ready-to-wear collections, went to the mass market, and finally found himself in a sweater in the sales department. But initially, millions of dollars and a lot of work were invested in it. So it is with all clothes. Trends are emerging in the fashionable “heavens” and are gradually capturing a broader and broader audience. World fashion houses catch the mood of the time, barely perceptible ethers of the future, give shape to ideas, and return to the general public already formed trends, which sooner or later will affect even the most distant from fashion.

    Setting moods, breaking stereotypes, and creating trends is the mission of top brands. Whether they introduce something new or abandon the old is a signal to everyone else. And especially when fashion houses announce their new policy to the whole world and explain the reasons for these changes.

    The latest megatrend in high fashion is the rejection of fur. Fashion houses, whose names are identical to luxury, style, and chic, one after another declare that they will not use more fur in their collections. There are many reasons, but among the main ones are the blatant inhumanity of such “material” and the pollution effects of production.

    If the devil still wears Prada, then his devil’s fur coat is made of precisely faux fur. In May 2019, Prada Group announced that it would no longer use animal fur, starting with the SS2020 collections. “Prada strives for innovation and social responsibility, and our fur-free policy, achieved after a positive dialogue with the Fur-Free Alliance and the US Humane Society, is a continuation of it,” said Miuccia Prada. design, while meeting the demand for ethical products.” “Prada Group’s decision to abandon fur is in line with the new concept of ethical luxury and the expectations of new consumers who choose environmentally friendly products, respect the environment and animals,” added activist Simone Pavezi.

    This decision was made for a long time. “New consumers” pushed on Prada using the streets demonstrations and social networks campaigns with a request to give up fur. In Ukraine, in particular, the NGO Open Cages held an action of protest near the Prada store in Kyiv and called on customers to express their position on fur to the brand. Brands heard the voice of the public and, more importantly, listened to. And many colleagues in the shop have long since given up fur.

    Versace, for example, made an anti-furry come-out in 2018. “Fur? I’m a dog. I don’t want to kill animals to create fashion,” said Donatella Versace, the brand’s art director. According to her, this decision is part of the company’s sustainable development plan, which takes responsibility for customers and the planet. The approach to production is becoming more conscious and more environmentally friendly.


    Humane Society International is happy that the brand, known for its glamorous and extravagant aesthetics, which has a long history of using it as the primary material in its collections (including mink, raccoon dog, and fox), completely abandons fur. “Versace -… symbolizes redundancy and glamor, and therefore his decision to stop using fur shows that charity has never been so fashionable,” said Claire Bass, CEO of HSI in the UK.

    Italian Gucci officially became free of fur in 2017, following a statement by President and CEO Marco Bizarri. “Being socially responsible is one of Gucci’s core values, and we will continue to strive for the best for the environment and animals,” said Bizarri. the next step and hope that it will help innovate and raise awareness by changing the haute couture industry for the better! ” Under the new policy, Gucci will not use a mink, coyote, raccoon dog, fox, or any other animal bred or caught for fur. The remnants of fur items were sold at a charity auction.

    Speaking to Business of Fashion, Bizarri said: “Do you think that the use of fur today is modern? I don’t think so, and that’s why we decided not to do it anymore. It’s a bit outdated.” Bizarri says that fur products will be replaced by products made of faux fur, wool, and innovative fabrics. Millennials are the driving force for change, and although fur-trimmed moccasins have been one of the most popular models, Bizarri did not worry about profits because, in his opinion, the decision will pay off through the choice of young people (who account for more than half of Gucci buyers). Deloitte, a consulting firm, describes younger customers as “more ethical” than previous generations. PJ Smith, senior fashion manager at The Humane Society, said: “Gucci’s decision is a turning point in the fashion industry. replaced it with clothes free from cruelty. “


    Armani has announced its commitment to stop using fur for its products even earlier, starting with the autumn-winter 2016 season. “I am pleased to announce that the Armani Group has committed to abandoning animal fur in its collections. Technological advances over the years allow us to have alternatives that make animal cruelty unnecessary. Continuing the positive process that has long begun, the company is now taking a big step forward, reflecting our focus on the most important issues of protection and care for the environment and animals, “said Giorgio Armani, the brand’s founder. The brand made this decision jointly with the Fur-Free Alliance. Its chairman, Joe Winding, willingly commented on the commitments of the famous brand. “Armani’s statement makes it clear that designers and consumers can get creative freedom and stay luxurious – all without animal cruelty. Armani has remained a legislator in the fashion world for decades, and this statement is proof that compassion and innovation are the future of fashion.” Says Mr. Winding.


    Chanel went even further in its ethical commitments. The brand has agreed to ban not only fur but also exotic skins in its collections, saying it wants to adhere to ethical standards and meet the demands of animal rights activists. The world-famous French fashion house has announced that it will stop producing clothing and accessories from fur and animal skins, such as crocodiles, lizards, and snakes. A Chanel spokeswoman told CNN that the decision provided “an opportunity to create a new generation of high-quality products.” By the way, the creative director of the Chanel house since 1983 is Karl Lagerfeld. Before that, he worked at Fendi, where he also introduced the use of moles, rabbits, and squirrels. So not only fashion trends are changing, but also fashion legislators.

    We told the stories of only five brands that no longer use fur. In fact, there are already about 1,500 of them in the world.

    If your favorite brands aren’t on your fur-free list yet, be sure to tell them you’d like to see them there. After all, the fashion for murder has passed and will not return.

    Why we should give up fur and leather, and what are the alternatives

    Ethical consumption is the result of consciousness. As usual, people don’t care in what way they wear is made. It is essential that workers’ rights are respected in production and that production does not harm the environment and animals.

    Let’s check Anastasia Pokropivna, representative of the “Fur-free retail” campaign of the NGO “Open Cages Ukraine,” review on “unethical materials” and why we should get rid of its use.

    These materials are partially or entirely made from animals. These include: fur, genuine leather, suede, nubuck, wool, cashmere, angora, pashmina, alpaca, natural silk, down.

    Ethical materials are synthetic or plant alternatives that do not come from animals. These include polyester, polyurethane, synthetic winterizer, acrylic, microfiber, fleece, artificial leather, faux fur, artificial suede, artificial nubuck, cotton, viscose, linen, bamboo, and others.

    Why does the world give up fur, leather, wool?

    Fur contaminates water. Animal waste contains high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus. Chemicals from farms contaminate local water systems by flowing into the soil and seeping into groundwater. Such volumes of nitrogen lead to a flowering of water and the death of fish.

    Fur pollutes the air. Harmful substances released during fur processing may include carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, hydrochloric acid, volatile organic compounds, dioxins, and heavy metals.

    Fur contaminates the soil. Animal farms produce a large amount of waste (manure, manure, urine), which reduces soil fertility. At high doses of manure, there is phosphating of soils and their contamination with heavy metals.

    Fur is inhumane. It is impossible to meet the basic needs of predators by keeping them in cages. To obtain intact fur, standard methods of killing wild animals are:

    • Electric current. Electric shock occurs through the mouth or anus of the animal;
    • Gas suffocation. A large number of animals are simultaneously thrown into a capsule, where they run the gas. There the animals die in spasms. This is a particularly cruel way of killing minks, whic are semi-aquatic animals and capable of long-term respiratory arrest.

    In the world, the fur industry kills 30 million animals a year. At the same time, it pollutes the environment and harms human health. According to PETA (“People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals”), the production of natural fur, leather, and wool is 20 times more toxic than the production of artificial materials. Fur and leather are treated with reagents containing cyanides, formaldehyde, and ammonia.

    What are the alternatives?

    In fact, modern technologies for the production of fabrics and insulation allow you to create things that are not inferior in quality to natural materials and do not harm animals. A down jacket without fur and fur, which is not afraid of frosts, and summer sandals made of eco-leather are gradually displacing animal analogs from the wardrobes of city dwellers.

    The basis of ethical clothing can be things made of artificial materials obtained by chemical treatment (synthetic, acrylic, viscose, microfiber, fleece, artificial fur, suede, and nubuck) and vegetable raw materials (cotton, bamboo, linen). Some manufacturers sew clothes from recycled materials, which makes an additional contribution to the environment.

    Ethical clothing is made of entirely artificial or with the addition of plant materials, which do not contain components of animal origin and have no negative impact on the environment.

    Materials that can be called “ethical”:

    · all materials of vegetable origin: cotton, flax;

    · soybean silk – as the name implies, is made from soybean sprouts, very similar to natural silk;

    · viscose, lyocell fiber derived from cellulose, breathable fabric;

    · acrylic, polyester – synthetic fibers;

    · artificial leather and fur.

    Ethical footwear is made of artificial leather and suede. There is a substance called “eco-leather.” It consists of polyurethane and cotton, manufacturers used no chlorine in its production, and no toxic substances are released during operation.

    Fashion without fur

    The fashion world is gradually abandoning materials of animal origin. At the fashion show in London and Amsterdam, you can’t see all the fur products. The Fur Free Retailer was launched by the International Anti-Fur Coalition. Its purpose is to provide customers with verified information about the policy of fur stores, which will allow them to make informed and ethical choices. More than 1,100 brands have abandoned the use of fur worldwide. Among them are Versace, Armani, Michael Kors, and Jimmy Choo.

    The world is gradually changing in the direction of reducing animal cruelty and suffering. And we can already see these changes!

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