Gucci Goes Fur-Free

by @kugzz author of No More Than 10 Bags

On Wednesday, October  11th during the 2017 Kering Talk at The London College of Fashion , Gucci’s president and CEO Marco Bizzarri announced that the company was enacting a “fur-free policy”. Bizzarri elaborated to the audience that “being socially responsible is one of Gucci’s core values, and we continue to strive to do better for the environment and animals”.

The company joins many other leading fashion brands and retailers in going fur-free—including Armani, HUGO BOSS, Yoox, Net-a-Porter, Stella McCartney and more—and will be part of the international Fur Free Retailer Program.

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Photo Courtesy: Gucci

Gucci’s commitment follows a long-standing relationship with The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Lega Anti Vivisezione in Italy (LAV)—which are both members of the international Fur Free Alliance, a coalition of more than 40 animal protection organizations working together to end the fur trade. The fur free policy includes mink, coyote, raccoon dog, fox, rabbit, and karakul (otherwise known as Swakara, Persian lamb or astrakhan) and all others species specially bred or caught for fur.  Joh Vinding, Chairman of Fur Free Alliance said, “For decades animals in the fur industry has been subjected to intense cruelty, living their entire lives in miserable, filthy cages. Gucci’s new fur-free policy marks a game-changer for the whole luxury fashion industry to follow. Gucci is taking a bold stand for animals, and showing the world that the future of fashion is fur-free.”

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Photo Courtesy: Fur Free Alliance

PJ Smith, senior manager of fashion policy for The HSUS, said: “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”.

A quick “did you know” fact if you were unaware…the fur industry refuses to condemn even blatantly cruel killing methods such as electrocution. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, electrocution causes “death by cardiac fibrillation, which causes cerebral hypoxia,” but warns that “animals do not lose consciousness for 10 to 30 seconds or more after onset of cardiac fibrillation.” In other words, the animals are forced to suffer from a heart attack while they are still conscious.

Zoologists at Oxford University who studied captive minks found that despite generations of being bred for fur, minks have not been domesticated and suffer greatly in captivity, especially if they are not given the opportunity to swim. Foxes, raccoons, and other animals suffer just as much and have been found to cannibalize their cagemates in response to their crowded confinement.

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Photo Courtesy: via CNN by Christophe Simon

Hopefully, more and more big fashion houses will follow Gucci’s lead and Mr. Bizzari put it perfectly: “Do you think using furs today is still modern? I don’t think it’s still modern, and that’s the reason why we decided not to do that. It’s a little bit outdated. Creativity can jump in many different directions instead of using furs.”

The brand will go fur-free beginning with its Spring 2018 collection.