Kering Breaks Up with Fur For Good As Luxury Fashion Shifts To Cruelty-Free

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Luxury fashion group Kering has pledged to ditch fur across all its brands, as high-end labels face greater scrutiny over animal welfare and environmental practices. From late 2022, none of Kering’s brands, including Alexander McQueen, Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, will feature animal fur in collections, amid the group’s push to “take the lead in sustainability”. 

Kering has announced its decision to go “entirely fur free” by next year. Starting from Fall 2022 collections, all of the group’s houses will no longer be using animal fur, though other animal fabrics and fibres such as leather are still being used. It followed the move by Kering’s individual brands to make fur-free pledges over the past years, the first being Gucci in 2017. 

Now, all of Kering’s brands, among them the most sought-after luxury labels such as Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, Brioni and Saint Laurent, will be ditching fur from their collections. 

‘The world has changed’

Source: Unsplash

The move by Kering comes in direct response to growing consumer pressure for fashion houses to clean up their act, especially amid the conscious consumerism trend that is changing preferences in favour of sustainable, ethical and socially responsible products.

In a recent global poll, 88% said sustainability is now considered a “standard business practice”, while 82% agreed with the statement that companies must put social responsibilities and ethics before their profits. 

Speaking about the group’s decision, Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault said: “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.”

“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,” the CEO added. 

Source: Gucci

Fashion moves towards cruelty-free

Kering isn’t the only player to have made fur-free pledges, with another recent high-profile example being Canada Goose. The luxury parka maker said earlier this year that it will no longer be using any fur by 2022, but has stopped short of removing down feathers from its list of materials. 

An early mover in the industry is Stella McCartney, who has shunned the use of all animal-based materials like fur and leather, putting it ahead when it comes to keeping up with regulatory developments around the world, given some countries such as Israel are now banning fur production. 

Related: This Dutch biotech just developed cell-based animal fur

With cruelty-free fashion becoming increasingly popular, experts believe that animal-free alternatives or “next gen” materials will be an industry to watch. One recent report estimates that this sector will be following a similar trajectory as the alt-protein industry, becoming a $2.2 billion market by 2026. 


Lead image courtesy of YSL.

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