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Gucci unveils plan to become fur-free from 2018

Gucci unveils plan to become fur-free from 2018

October 12
20:18 2017

Luxury brand Gucci has announced it will no longer use fur in its products, a move campaigners predict would have a “huge ripple effect throughout the world of fashion”.

Marco Bizzarri, chief executive of the Italian fashion house, said Gucci would go “fur-free” from next year.

Gucci’s move follows similar initiatives by rival Armani, which last year pledged to drop fur from its collections, as well as Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger.

“Being socially responsible is one of Gucci’s core values, and we will continue to strive to do better for the environment and animals,” Mr Bizzarri told an event at the London College of Fashion on Wednesday.

He said that fur products were worth only about €10m annually in revenues to Gucci, and therefore the financial impact was limited.

Mr Bizzarri attributed the decision to Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele, who was appointed in 2015.

“In selecting a new creative director I wanted to find someone who shared a belief in the importance of the same values. I sensed that immediately on meeting Alessandro for the first time,” Mr Bizzarri said.

Gucci, part of Paris-based Kering conglomerate, joins a number of other luxury brands in the Fur Free Alliance, an international group which campaigns on animal welfare and promotes alternatives to fur in the fashion industry.

Joh Vinding, the alliance’s chairman, said: “Gucci is taking a bold stand for animals, showing the world that the future of fashion is fur-free.”

Gucci’s decision reflects a generational shift in the fashion industry and the need to attract younger shoppers, who are increasingly concerned about sustainability and animal welfare. Millennials, aged 18-34, account for more than half of Gucci’s consumers, according to the company.

A poll published by consultants BCG last year of 10,000 consumers in 11 countries found that sustainable means of production rated as their second-most important consideration after the exclusivity of a brand.

Several high-profile fashion brands have long shunned fur, including Kering-owned Stella McCartney. Retailers including Selfridges and Yoox-Net-a-Porter do not sell fur items.

But some brands are resisting the anti-fur trend. Fendi, owned by LVMH, is known as a fur specialist and creative director Karl Lagerfeld has defended the use of the product.

Burberry was targeted by protesters during London Fashion Week last month over its continuing use of fur in its collections.

Gucci said it would no longer use mink, coyote, raccoon dog, fox, rabbit or any other species specially bred or caught. It said it would auction its remaining fur stocks.

The company will instead use faux-fur, wool and new fabric innovations. Gucci’s “Princetown” loafer, which has become one of its best-selling items, no longer uses kangaroo fur so nothing would change in its production, a spokesman said.

Kitty Block, president of Humane Society International, welcomed the brand’s “compassionate” decision. “Gucci going fur-free is a huge game-changer,” she said.

“For this Italian powerhouse to end the use of fur because of the cruelty involved will have a huge ripple effect throughout the world of fashion.”

Fur farming was banned in the UK in 2000. But campaigners say there are 75m animals in fur farms globally, often kept in tiny cages and suffering disease, injuries and stress.

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