Gucci ditches fur as animal cruelty puts the bite on industry

Fashion house Gucci has announced it will no longer use animal fur, beginning with its spring summer 2018 collection.

Gucci's president and chief executive Marco Bizzarri announced the policy on Wednesday, Humane Society International reported.

"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 said during the 2017 Kering Talk at The London College of Fashion.

Gucci's fur-free policy will involve all species specially bred or caught for fur, including mink, coyote, raccoon dog, fox, rabbit, and karakul.

Gucci, owned by global luxury group Kering, had been working with the Humane Society of the United States and Italian-based animal welfare group LAV since 2009 over the use of fur in its products

It joins many other leading fashion brands and retailers - such as Zara, Armani, Hugo Boss, Lee, Yoox Net-a-Porter, Wrangler and Stella McCartney - that have already gone fur free.

About 100 million animals die for their fur every year, said Nicola Beynon of Humane Society International - Australia.

"Most of them live miserable existences on fur farms where they are kept in appalling conditions and then subjected to painful deaths," she said

"Foxes, rabbits, raccoon dogs and mink are confined in small, barren, wire cages for their entire lives.

"When their pelts are in their prime, before they are one, the animals are gassed, electrocuted, beaten or have their necks broken.

"In addition, huge numbers of animals are trapped and killed for their fur in the wild.

"Most fur from wild-trapped animals comes from the US, Canada and Russia.

"Traps inflict great pain, both to the target animals and to unintended victims such as pets and endangered species.

"Each year in Canada, about 1 million animals, such as coyotes, are caught in traps for their fur. Often left trapped for days, unable to seek shelter, food or water, these animals can cause serious injury to themselves in an attempt to escape.

"When the trappers finally arrive, they will often stomp or beat the animals to death.

"Now Gucci has committed on fur, Humane Society International looks forward to other major labels yet to commit - such as Burberry, Dior, Valentino and Yves St Laurent - putting compassion into their fashion too," Ms Beynon said.

Kitty Block, president of Humane Society International, said: "Gucci going fur-free is a huge game changer. For this powerhouse to end the use of fur because of the cruelty involved will have a huge ripple effect throughout the world of fashion.

"A staggering 100 million animals a year still suffer for the fur industry, but that can only be sustained for as long as designers continue to use fur and consumers purchase it.

"So we commend Gucci's compassionate decision, and for helping to ensure that the future of fashion is fur-free."

Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of The Humane Society of the United States, said in his blog: "Today's consumers don't find anything glamorous about killing and skinning animals for their fur, especially with the availability of faux fur options that mimic the look and feel of fur.

"Consumers don't want any part of cruelty when they have functionally equivalent alternatives. They want to feel good about what they buy, and are more likely to support companies that are actively working to be more responsible.

"Gucci's decision to tap into that sentiment is good for business and animals alike. It's the march of progress in the humane economy."

Joh Vinding, chairman of the Fur Free Alliance, a coalition of more than 40 animal protection organisations working together to end the fur trade, said: "For decades, animals in the fur industry have been subjected to intense cruelty, living their entire lives in miserable, filthy cages.

"Gucci's new fur free policy marks a game-changer for the whole luxury fashion industry to follow.

"Gucci is taking a bold stand for animals, showing the world that the future of fashion is fur-free."

This story Gucci ditches fur as animal cruelty puts the bite on industry first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.