French luxury conglomerate, Kering, has announced its commitment to go entirely fur-free – a move that is part of the company’s broader strategy to become more sustainable and lead the fashion industry through the change.
While fur has historically been perceived as an iconic material in the luxury space, the company’s move to eliminate it across all of its fashion houses is a tremendous nod to the shifting momentum in the fashion industry.
The group has already made progressive steps toward eliminating fur completely from their collection, starting in 2017 with Gucci, followed by Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Brioni and Saint Laurent. And in 2019, Kering formalized and published a set of animal welfare standards that are being applied as the group continues to launch new collections.
“For many years, Kering has sought to take the lead in sustainability, guided by a vision of luxury that is inseparable from the very highest environmental and social values and standards. When it comes to animal welfare, our group has always demonstrated its willingness to improve practices within its own supply chain and the luxury sector in general. The time has now come to take a further step forward by ending the use of fur in all our collections. The world has changed, along with our clients, and luxury naturally needs to adapt to that,” declared François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO of Kering, in a company statement.
The ban on fur comes on the heels of a broader movement in the fashion industry which is seeing consumers demand brands and retailers to take more sustainable actions and embrace ethically and environmentally responsible business practices, including animal welfare.
At the same time, a decrease in demand, government bans and animal-rights protests have made fur products not as profitable as they once were. For example, when Gucci dropped the once admired material, fur products accounted for roughly $11.7 million in sales, equating to less than 0.2 percent of its overall revenue.
Luxury brands including Prada, Versace, Burberry and Chanel have also gone fur-free.