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Kering to go fur-free across entire brand portfolio

By Huw Hughes

Sep 24, 2021

Fashion

Image: Kering, Facebook

In a move that could set the bar for other luxury groups, French conglomerate Kering has pledged to go fur-free across its entire portfolio of brands.

Several of the group’s labels have already scrapped the use of fur, including its star brand Gucci, which was the first to do so back in 2017.

Since then, brands like Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta and Alexander McQueen have followed suit.

And on Friday, Kering said all its brands would be ditching the use of fur from their fall 2022 collections onwards. It is understood that Saint Laurent and Brioni were the only labels to still sometimes be using fur.

It comes after the group - which booked revenue of 13.1 billion euros in 2020 - formalised and published a set of animal welfare standards back in 2019. It said these standards “will continue to be applied, as they concern other animal fibres and materials”.

Kering chair and CEO François-Henri Pinault said Friday that “the time has now come to take a further step forward by ending the use of fur in all our collections. The world has changed, along with our clients, and luxury naturally needs to adapt to that”.

Kering bids farewell to fur

Once a mainstay of luxury fashion - a symbol of opulence and glamour - fur has faced mounting scrutiny over the years as consumer demand for animal-free products continues to grow.

That, compounded by a burgeoning market for faux alternatives, has resulted in a growing number of luxury Maisons removing the material from their collections in recent years, including the likes of Burberry, Prada and Giorgio Armani to name just a few.

And it’s not just the luxury market ditching the material. Just this year alone, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Mytheresa, Canada Goose, Valentino, Oscar de la Renta, Tory Burch, Holt Renfrew, Mackage, Moose Knuckles, Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga have announced fur-free policies.

“The future is clearly fur-free and now one of the world’s largest luxury fashion conglomerates agrees,” commented Kitty Block, the CEO of Humane Society International, which worked with Kering's brands on their fur-free policies.

“As markets around the globe close their doors to fur products opting instead for innovative humane products, it makes complete sense for a power fashion house like Kering to make this ethical decision,” Block said.

And other animal-derived products such as leathers and exotic skins have also disappeared from the collections of a growing number of brands in recent years.

A recent survey by The Vegan Society of 1,000 UK adults - aimed at those buying new clothing as opposed to second-hand items - found that 95 percent of shoppers said they would like to see more vegan-verified fashion sold by brands.

Meanwhile, almost half (48 percent) said they want to see more vegan-verified fashion across all categories.