5 Awesome Fur-Free Moments
Updated: May 25, 2019
Although we strive for increased plant-based consumption, if an animal were to be humanely hunted in their natural environment and harvested for food, it would be most ethical and economical to ensure every part of that animal is used for good; including their fur. However, that is not what is occurring in the fur industry. Animals, such as rabbits, minks, fox, muskrats, chinchillas, seals and even dogs are kept in extreme confinement, electrocuted, drowned, gassed, or clubbed and sometimes skinned alive for their fur. Not only is that horrifically cruel, but it is not necessary for survival, and it's certainly not fashionable. While those led by narrow-mindedness and greed fight to protect the fur industry, more and more people are becoming aware of the truth and are standing up to defend the lives of innocent animals. Below are 5 awesome fur-free moments.
1. San-Francisco & Los Angeles Ban Fur
In April 2018, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a citywide ban on fur sales, effective January 2019. District Supervisor Katy Tang, who proposed the legislation stated, "The sale of fur products in San Francisco is inconsistent with the City’s ethos of treating all living beings, humans and animals alike, with kindness." Katy Tang's legislative efforts also led to the Board of Supervisor's unanimous votes to prohibit exotic animal performances in 2015, and to ban the sale of non-rescue cats and dogs in San Francisco pet stores in 2017. With this fur sale ban, San Francisco joined West Hollywood and Berkeley, California, as well as São Paulo, Brazil, Belgium, and India who have passed similar laws to protect our worlds adored furbearers.
Following suit in February 2019, the Los Angeles City Council voted 13-1 to ban the sale of fur effective January 2021, which would make them the largest city to prohibit the sale of fur in the United States. Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, who drafted the motion stated, “This arcane and inhumane practice must end and today; we said, loud and clear, fur will not have a future in Los Angeles.” A state-wide fur-sale ban was also introduced into California state government, as were bans in New York city and New York state, which are still going through the legislative process.
2. Tim Gunn Says Project Runway Is Fur-Free
Season 16's Project Runway contestant, Margarita Alvarez, had misguided plans to use what she referred to as 'badass fur' for one of her challenge garments. But when Tim Gunn got wind of her bad plan, he quickly set her on the right path. Tim did follow-up by fairly allowing her some additional time to find replacement materials, but his fur-free statement rang through loud and clear.
3. Sea Shepherd Stands Up For Seals
Not to be confused with subsistence hunting, the Canadian seal hunt is considered the largest slaughter of marine mammals on Earth, all in the name of "fashion." During this hunt, hundreds of thousands of defenseless baby seals are shot or clubbed to death for the sale of their fur. While animal protection organizations fight to make this unnecessary and violent practice unlawful, the Sea Shepherd took action on the ice. In the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, Sea Shepherd crew members protected seals by spraying them with an indelible organic dye to deter fur hunters. That might just be the coolest and kindest graffiti of all time!
4. India Prohibits Seal Fur Imports
Continuing on the anti-seal fur train, after years of combined efforts by the Humane Society International and People for Animals, India has banned seal fur and seal skin imports. The decision made by India's Directorate General of Foreign Trade was announced this month and will spare the lives of thousands of seals. Approximately 35 other countries prohibit seal fur imports, such as the US, Mexico, Taiwan, 28 countries of the European Union, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Russia. Countries such as Canada and Norway have fought against such bans, but they were upheld two times by the World Trade Organization. These are huge successes for seals. However, there is still much work to be done, as the Canadian seal hunt is currently underway. You may help protect seals by signing the HSI petition, here.
5. Designer and Celebrity Fur-Free Statements
Despite the misconception that fur-free fashion will negatively impact the economy, enlightened designers are embracing the truth that cruelty-free garments are not only humane, but also extremely marketable. High-quality faux fur items look beautiful, are in strong demand and can now sell for higher prices than real fur. Additionally, innovation has lead to more environmentally-sound methods of creating faux fur, which will likely improve even more so in the future.
Designers such as Armani, Versace, Burberry, Gucci, Coach, Donna Karan, Chanel, Diane von Furstenberg, Jimmy Choo, Bottega Veneta, and Furla have gone fur-free. Joining those designers is the Prada Group, which includes Prada, Miu Miu, Church's, and Car Show, recently announced they will be moving on from fur starting with their women's spring/summer collection in February 2020.
Celebrities have also been using their public outreach to spread awareness and support the protection of furbearers. Below are some inspiring celebrity and designer statements.
"Fur? I am out of that. I don’t want to kill animals to make fashion. It doesn’t feel right."
-Donatella Versace, 1843 Magazine, April 2018
"One of the most atrocious and inhumane acts against animals allowed by any government."
-Ellen DeGeneres, Website post about Canadian seal fur hunt/
'Sealfie' Campaign, 2014
"Do you think using furs today is still modern? I don’t think it’s still modern..."
-Marco Bizzarri, Gucci President & CEO, The Business of Fashion,
-Ian Somerhalder, Twitter share of
"Our magazines do not wish to promote wearing fur to the public and therefore exclude the presence of fur from all our articles."
-Edine Russel, Editor-in-Chief of ELLE Netherlands,
"Fur isn't necessary. It doesn't make sense to me to let these animals suffer for fashion."
-Charlize Theron, PETA Anti-Fur Campaign
“The Prada Group is committed to innovation and social responsibility, and our fur-free policy ... is an extension of that engagement. “Focusing on innovative materials will allow the company to explore new boundaries of creative design while meeting the demand for ethical products.”
- Miuccia Prada, Fur-Free Announcement,
"As we continue to promote the development of viable commercial substitutes to animal materials, this policy will help to ensure that the materials we use today are procured from sources that prioritize animal welfare and responsible business practices."
-Letitia Webster, Vice President of Global Corporate Sustainability,
VP Corporation (The North Face, Timberland, and Vans)
"Stop! Fur is not sexy. It’s not cool."
-Joanna Krupa, Huffington Post, October 2012
"Respect for animals is becoming more entrenched in people’s values, and the great names of fashion are gradually implementing social responsibility policies to reflect that."
-Simone Pavesi, LAV manager of Animal Free Fashion, Kering Talk,
The London College of Fashion, October 2017
"With so many fashionable, cruelty-free options available, there’s really no excuse for wearing someone else’s coat."
-Lea Michele, Fur-Free Q&A video and interview, April 2010
"There’s so much violence in the world that’s beyond our control, but banning fur sales is one easy way to set an example of compassion for the whole world to follow."
-Alicia Silverstone, Letter to the San Francisco Board of Directors,
Whether you're an active animal advocate, truth seeker, or someone with an open mind and compassion heart, when feeling overwhelmed by the seemingly never-ending reports on animal cruelty, just remember, you're not in this alone.
To shop fur-free, you may browse 1000 retailers via Fur Free Retailer, which as of May 2019, is up from 870 retailers in April 2018.
(Fur Free Retailer is an authentic resource, however, always be sure to check the direct websites of retailers when possible, to confirm their products are in line with your personal beliefs.)