In recent years there have been a lot of questions over the importance of people and brands going fur-free. From disturbing youtube videos of tortured animals to the growing awareness of our responsibility to the environment, there are many reasons why people are now opting to go faux.
The fashion industry has been slow to react, offering ethically sourced fur instead of scrapping it all together. However in the last year or so big name brands have decided to lead the way, publicly renouncing fur, in favour of technologically enhanced alternatives.
CEO of GUCCI Marco Bizzarri spoke about Gucci’s decision to go faux, in October 2017 at the Kering Talk, at the London College of Fashion. Talking to Vogue he said “we’ve been talking about it, Alessandro (Michele) and I, for a few months. Technology is now available that means you don’t need to use fur. The alternatives are luxurious. There is just no need.”
While brands such as Gucci, Versace, DKNY and Michael Kors are new to the no-fur concept, it is worth mentioning there have been some trailblazers, such as Stella McCartney, Vivenne Westwood and Calvin Klein. McCartney is the poster child for ethical fashion, refusing, from the get-go, to use any leather, fur or feathers, in the making of her luxurious line. Westwood has been a strong supporter of PETA, deciding to eliminate fur from her collections in 2007, while Klein decided to take a stance in 1994.
But why now? Perhaps because the technology to create worthy imitations is more readily available than before, thanks to the demand from designers such as McCartney and Westwood. However I think it is because the perception of luxury has changed in the last ten to five years. We no longer associate luxury fashion with diamonds and fur. Today luxury fashion includes a broad spectrum of concepts, with a strong focus on quality materials and authentic design. People are more comfortable with the idea of mixing high and low pieces, to create an individual look, that is style rather than price driven. People are drawn to textures, colours and designer concepts rather than expensive price tags. Previously considered as a symbol of status and wealth, people no longer feel that fur is the way to demonstrate success. In fact most luxury brand’s best selling and more expensive pieces can be described as classics and understated in style, i.e Chanel.
Learn more about Stella McCartney and her influence as an ethical fashion designer in today’s fashion industry.