In a recent interview, Donatella Versace announced that her fashion brand will no longer use fur in any of the designs. "Fur? I am out of that," she said to The Economist's 1843 magazine. "I don’t want to kill animals to make fashion. It doesn’t feel right." This statement is a bold move for a fashion house that has a reputation for excessive luxury and flamboyance.
Versace now joins the roster of luxury brands who have pledged not to use fur. At the end of 2017, Gucci also swore off fur with Marco Bizzarri citing that using furs is an out-dated practice. Not too long before that, brands Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo have also stopped using fur as designer Michael Kors claimed in an interview with BoF that they have technologically advanced fabrications that allow them to "create a luxe aesthetic using non-animal fur". And Tom Ford, who has become a vegan, remarkedly did not put out as many fur designs in his recent collections compared to previous ones. It seems like going fur-free, along with making political statements, is the hottest trend in the fashion world right now.
Of course, there are those who gave up the practice of using fur a long time ago like Calvin Klein. Then there are those who have not once used fur and even advocated against the practice. Stella McCartney is known for not using fur and even leather in her designs since its launch in 2001. Her famed Fur-Free-Fur label is one of the pioneers in using alternative materials to fur. It was no surprise then that she received the first ever Special Recognition Award For Innovation at British Fashion Awards.
Big brands going fur-free is definitely a progressive move. But where do we go from this? People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)'s Senior Vice President Dan Mathews responded to Donatella's fur-free decision saying that it is "a major turning point in the campaign for compassionate fashion, and PETA looks forward to seeing a leather-free Versace next."
The question is: are we ready for the next step in going leather-free? Maybe not now, but in a few years, who knows? As much as we antagonise technology in so many ways, we should not forget that it ultimately moves us forward as a society.
Next, learn about these fashion brands that support a cause.