The growing demand for cruelty free products by consumers, has several leading apparel and accessory brands responding the sentiment. The latest to join the league is the Italian luxury fashion house Valentino S.p.A. that has announced its new policy to go 100% fur free by the year 2022. In a note issued to the press,Jacopo Venturini, CEO of Valentino said, “The fur-free stance is perfectly in line with the values of our company. We are moving full-steam ahead in the research for alternative materials in view of greater attention to the environment for the upcoming collections.”The fur company Valentino Polar, based in Milan, will wrap-up productivity by the end of 2021. The latest collection to include fur will be the Fall / Winter 2021-22. As for the REDValentino label, whose latest collection will be the Fall / Winter 2023-24, the activities related to the REDValentino business will be suspended starting from 2024.
Humane Society International (HSI) Italy Director Martina Pluda said, “Like so many other designers, Valentino knows that using fur makes brands look outdated and out of touch, and fur industry certification schemes are little more than the hollow PR spin of an industry that kills 100 million animals for fur a year.” She further added, “Compassion and sustainability are the new luxury in a world where dressing in the fur of factory farmed foxes or gassed mink is tasteless and cruel.”
Organisations like PETA, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Humane Society International (HSI) have been constantly working towards raising awareness about cruelty-free fashion. Tracy Reima, PETA Executive Vice President reportedly said, “Cheers went up at PETA HQ today at the news that even the fashion house that sewed mink fur on sneakers is changing with the times. At this rate, not a single designer will still be selling fur next year – and no wonder, since no kind shopper will buy it.”PJ Smith, Director of Fashion Policy at HSUS said, “Brands and retailers should rightfully align their policy with consumers’ values if they want to remain successful in a world that cares about animals and their welfare.”
With increasing awareness and changing consumer sentiment, the leading fashion designers and brands are responding with alternative materiels. Some of the designer brands such as Armani, Prada, Versace, DKNY, Stella McCartney, Burberry, Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo, and Chanelhad declared their fur-free stance. In March 2021, Spanish designer Balenciaga ane the British brand Alexander McQueen also swore off fur and leather.
Retail stores too have been pitching in. In 2019, the American department store Macy’s committed to no longer sell fur at its 680 retail outlets including all Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s private brands entierly by the end of 2020. The e-commerce site Net-a-Porter and Farfetch too adopted a No-Fur policy. American luxury department store chain Nordstrom announced that it will end the sale of fur and other exotic animal skins by the end of 2021 at all of its properties, including Nordstrom Rack, Last Chance stores, as well as Nordstrom’s e-commerce sites. Saks Fifth Avenue too will stop selling fur entirely by end of 2022.
Government bodies too are bringing in legislations to ban manufacutre and sale of fur. The state of California in USA was the first state to prohibit the sale and manufacture of new fur statewide with the passage of AB 44–legislation in the year 2019, which will take effect in January 2023. United Kindgom has banned fur farming since 2003, though yet allows sale.