London - Our understanding of what makes a luxury material is being rethought as a growing number of high-end fashion houses turn their backs on fur for good. Leading luxury houses Furla and Versace are the latest fashion houses to implement a fur-ban, as a growing number of companies take into account the environmental and ethical implications of using real animal fur in their collections.
Italian accessories brand Furla is set to go fur-free from November 2018, starting with its Cruise 2019 collections. A decision the brand sees as “a change for good,” all Furla products in both its women’s and men’s collections will be made using ecological fur instead. “Over the past year, Furla has grown exponentially at an international level,” said Alberto Camerlengo, chief executive officer of Furla in an exclusive interview with WWD.
Furla makes a responsible decision and goes fur-free
“The decision to progressively ban from the collections the use of animal fur is a project that confirms the brand’s increasing interest in the environment, with particular attention to the animal world, to which Furla is very sensitive. The decision, moreover, responds to the growing request for ethical products by consumers who are more and more aware and attentive to these themes.” He added that the technical progress made in the recent years concerning faux fur has rendered the use of real animal fur.
Furla’s decision to go fur-free comes as the Italian company reports its “best-ever” year in 2017. The accessories brand saw EBITDA increase 34.1 percent, its best to date, as it continues to expand its presence around the world. Animal lovers and animals organizations have welcomed Furla’s decision to go fur-free. “PETA is delighted that Furla is joining the ever-growing list of luxury brands that are recognizing that being associated with the fur industry makes them look totally out of touch,” said Elisa Allen, Director of PETA in a statement. “Gucci, Giorgio Armani, and Michael Kors are also among the most recent to have denounced the use of fur.”
Donatella Versace no longer wishes to 'kill animals to make fashion'
Hours after Furla announced it was going fur-free, Donatella Versace revealed that her family’s fashion house will no longer use real animal fur in its products. In an online interview with the Economist 1843 Magazine, the Italian fashion designer said they had halted their use of fur. "Fur? I am out of that," said Versace. "I don't want to kill animals to make fashion. It doesn't feel right." The fashion house had no further comment on the decision.
Versace has a long history of using a wide-range of fur in its collections from a number of species, including mink, foxes and raccoon dog according to the Humane Society International (HSI), which has been campaigning for the end of the global fur trade. The Italian fashion house’s autumn/winter 2017 collection includes laser cut mink and fox coats, and its website was still promoting its fur coats on Wednesday mornings.
"The end of fur farming is well within our reach"
“Versace is a massively influential luxury brand that symbolises excess and glamour, and so its decision to stop using fur shows that compassionate fashion has never been more on trend,” said Claire Bass, Executive Director of HSI UK’s branch. “Versace is following in the footsteps of fellow fashion giants Gucci and Michael Kors who have dropped fur in the last six months. Such influential brands turning their backs on cruel fur makes the few designers like Fendi and Burberry who are still peddling fur look increasingly out of touch and isolated.”
Both Furla’s and Versace’s fur-free announcements come after 31 of the UK’s leading celebrities including Dame Judi Dench, Sir Andy Murray and Ricky Gervais penned a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May demanding she implement a UK ban on animal-fur imports in support of the #FurFreeBritain campaign. “The end of fur farming is well within our reach. Times are changing quickly, and thanks to technological advances that have resulted in an abundance of new eco-fabrics on the market – from pineapple leather to down alternatives – the future of fashion is vegan,” concluded Allen.
Photos: Furla and Four Paws, Facebook