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Goldsmiths' Official Student Magazine

Name and shame: Which high fashion brands are still using fur?

28 November 2017
With Gucci going fur free, Oli Chapman asks, which high-end brands haven’t made the swap?

With Gucci going fur free, which high end brands haven’t made the swap?

It was recently announced by Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri, that the Italian luxury fashion brand will, from its Spring/ Summer 2018 collection, be a fur free label. According to Bizzarri, the decision was made after the introduction of new creative director, Alessandro Michele and a desire to be more socially responsible.

Conor McGregor in a Gucci fur jacket. Pic: @TheLifeofLawrence (instagram).

This kind of progression in the industry towards fur-free fashion comes to the delight of PETA, who have been campaigning for the end of the fur trade since its formation in 1980 and notoriously were behind protesters covering then Gucci creative director in tomato juice, during a conference in 1999.

Another target of a fur shaming attack was Kim Kardashian, who in 2012 was hit with a flour bomb thrown by a lone activist at a press event in Los Angeles.

With Gucci being the latest to make the swap from Fur to Faux, which high end fashion brands are still using the controversial material?

Louis Vuitton, Dior, Karl Lagerfeld, Yves Saint Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Fendi, Alexander Wang and most famously… Burberry are all on the name shame list.

These brands all still use different varieties of fur in their collections, with fox and raccoon featuring heavily. It was only in late 2016 that Gucci’s fur hit the headlines again with UFC fighter Conor McGregor gloating about his reportedly $30,000 Mink Fur Coat, saying, much to the fury of Animal Rights activists, “Gucci mink — this is what confidence looks like. Serious”.

A major source of the outrage towards the fur trade is the conditions on ‘fur farms’, in which animals are kept in poor and cramped conditions. With their death a result of electrocution, suffocation and poisoning.

A wild mink. Pic: Toadienalls (Pixabay). 

However, fur isn’t necessarily a staple of every successful fashion brand. Fashion figurehead, Stella McCartney has been a bastion for the fashion industry using vegetarian and animal – free material alternatives in luxury garments. Using this as her fashion niche, she has found tremendous success, allowing her brand to be seen as more progressive than older fashion brands.

With Armani’s decision to stop its use in 2016, and Gucci following in 2018, it’s only a matter of time before more high end fashion brands join the move to faux fur.

Words, Oli Chapman – @OliHChapman