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In the wake of the eco-friendly movement, the Italian fashion house Gucci announced to go fur-free starting with the 2018 Spring/Summer collection.


Gucci Goes Eco

The news of the luxury brand moving towards fur-free fashion has spread in an instant. While Gucci is not the first brand to embrace the ethical fashion, the industry is still reluctant to more radical changes.

“With the help of HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) and LAV (Anti-Vivisection League), Gucci is excited to take this next step and hopes it will help inspire innovation and raise awareness, changing the luxury fashion industry for the better,” said last week Marco Bizzarri, the chief’s executive officer.

The new commitment goes in pair with the company joining Fur Free Alliance, an international group promoting animal welfare and use of alternative materials to fur. Once the policy comes into force, Gucci will give up on the use of fur of fox, mink, coyote, and racoon dog, among others. In addition, the remaining items containing fur will be sold at a charitable auction. 


Fur Is Not Sexy

Both the industry and animal rights advocated welcomed Gucci’s decision. Seemingly symbolic, in reality, the move can be an incentive for other designers to push furs to the corner.

“Gucci’s decision is a game-changing moment in the fashion industry. We’ll look back at this moment, I predict, and see that this was the turning point when the business world turned away from fur and substituted cruelty-free garments in its place,” applauded the decision PJ Smith, senior manager of fashion policy for HSUS.

“Real fur is extraordinarily old-fashioned,” said in 2015 Stella McCartney, whose brand also embraced fake fur. “Even if you’re 20 and you’ve got a real fur coat, you just look like an old, unaware, unconscious being on the planet,” she said.

Other designers who shifted towards fur-free fashion in the recent years include Giorgio Armani, Vivienne Westwood, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren. They will still need to convince other fashion icons to follow their example. For now, Fendi, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Canada Goose, Karl Lagerfeld, and Saint Laurent stick with fur.


Meanwhile in Canada

Nonetheless, eco-optimists should be aware of some limitations. For instance, changes will probably not arrive soon to Canada, where fur trade constitutes one of the country’s oldest and historically most significant industries. There are currently nearly 300 fur farms in Canada. In 2013, the export of fur contributed $467 million to Canada’s balance of trade, whereas the domestic North American retail market brings annually about $4 billion.


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