Department stores across the U.S. have started to join the Anti-Fur Movement by banning the sale of any garments containing animal fur. Some of these big box stores include Macy’s, Nordstrom’s and Bloomingdale’s, just to name a few. On Wednesday April 7, 2021, department store Saks Fifth Avenue shared that they will be joining the movement and will be fur-free by the end of fiscal 2022. Moreover, this ban will apply to all brands carried in-store, online and will also apply to their in-house brand. Although Saks will be eliminating fur from their stores, they still have plans to sell leather, shearling, goatskin, and feathers.
The company released a statement as such, “With this commitment, we will no longer offer products from animals raised for the use of their fur, including but not limited to mink, fox, chinchilla, and sable, as well as fur products derived from wild animals, such as coyote and beaver. We will take a phased approach, starting with closing fur salons by the end of fiscal 2021 and eliminating products sold by brand partners by the end of fiscal 2022.”
Almost immediately after the announcement, Saks started to receive backlash from the fur industry with comments disagreeing with the anti-fur activists. Mark Oaten, CEO of the International Fur Federation, said “Sadly they have decided to listen to animal activists who don’t represent the wider public,” and continued to add that by acknowledging this movement it will only lead to the company implementing further bans on animal-based products such as leather. At this point, it is still unclear what Saks plans to do with products such as Canadian Goose Jackets which contain a coyote fur trim on the hood.
Over the past year, many large department-style clothing stores have chosen to exclude fur from their inventory. Last year, Macy’s closed 22 fur salons, and Bloomingdales closed 34, while Nordstrom took it a step further and banned any products made from alligators, crocodiles, pythons, kangaroos, and ostrich.
After many years of pressure from PETA, Canadian department discount retailer Winners went fur free in 2020. Out of the TJX companies, Winners was the last of the bunch to go fur-free. As of 2020, 4,500 stores under the TJX umbrella are not 100% fur-free. In the future, PETA hopes they consider banning the use of angora as well.
Although TJX has finally put a ban on fur products in all its stores, it doesn’t seem to be as big a trend in Canada as it is in other countries. The Canadian fur trade is still a leading provider in economic success within the country and many people still rely heavily on this industry for survival. Current laws in Canada don’t require garments to label whether or not they contain animal fur; this is likely because of the dissolution of Bill C-246 which inaugurated regulations against importing furs. It has also been noted that faux fur in Canada is often mislabeled and contains real fur.
The Fur-Free Alliance connects consumers with companies offering fur-free ethical goods through a curated list of fur-free retailers. Their main focus is to educate and help consumers make a well-versed decision when choosing where to shop. The Fur-Free Alliance also encourages other retailers to go further with their cruelty-free journey and help them encompass ethical consumerism in their businesses.
Mat & Nat
The North Face
For too long animals have been severely mistreated for the vanity of humans. However, it is only within the past few years that we have started to see big box stores begin to take ownership for this issue and stop trying to capitalize on fur products. The houses of Gucci, Versace, Armani, and Stella McCartney no longer use any fur to produce their garments and we hope to see other designers follow suit.
This proves that consumers hold the power. By choosing fur alternatives and choosing not to shop where fur is sold, consumers have made a difference. If you’re looking to take ethical fashion one step further, you can also consider buying vegan leather alternatives. Our blog on vegan leather gives you a quick list of alternative leather choices you can buy instead. As a collective, consumers have forced corporate retailers to reevaluate the fur industry. As a collective, we have forced the fashion industry to take accountability of their contribution to animal cruelty.
Via ÀLA.HAUSSE‘s Multi-functional and Multi-purposeful Fashion Ecosystem- BUY/SELL/RENT/LEND/ (swap BETA 2021) mobile application, INDIVIDUALS & brands ( BETA 2021) are encouraged to REBUY, RESELL, REUSE and UP-CYCLE their personal “Clossets” aka Clothing Assets, along with overstock inventory and samples. Through this consumerism habit shift we indirectly slow down the urgency on fashion’s carbon footprint, aiding sustainability as a whole.
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