Fur Free Fashion? Back in 2015 when the Italian luxury powerhouse Armani announced its determination to eliminate animal fur from its collections, the Fur Free Alliance, called the decision a “historic day” for the fashion industry. Behind the closed doors, the move was called the ‘Stella Effect’, as a direct consequence of Stella McCartney firm stance against the use of any animal-based raw materials in its products.
The luxury fashion house began removing fur from its collections starting with its autumn/winter 2016 collection. At that time, Armani, the fashion designer added; “latest technological advancements grant us with suitable fur alternatives that render the use animal fur and continuation of cruel practices unnecessary”.
Since then, Armani house has expanded its operations to all internal collections. Giorgio Armani, Armani Collezioni, Emporio Armani, Armani Jeans, Armani Junior, EA7 and Armani Home are now fur free making Armani a powerful supported in the animal free luxury fashion movement.
Then, then ‘Stella Effect’ hit again. Last year in October, in a talk at The London College of Fashion Marco Bizzarri the president and CEO of Gucci, said: “As being socially responsible is one of the core values at Gucci, we must continue to do our best for the environment and animals.
For that, with the help of HSUS and LAV, Gucci is excited to announce the stop of using animal fur from its production hoping it will inspire innovation, raise awareness, and change the face of the luxury fashion industry for the better.”
Gucci’s first fur free fashion lines will be their Spring-Summer 2018 collections. Beyond the moral aspect of going animal fur free fashion, and the open stance against animal cruelty in the industry, the change will have massive positive economic implications as well.
For example, as processing animal fur requires the use of highly toxic chemicals that indirectly damage the environment, by ceasing to remove animal fur from its production Armani house indirectly stops the use of chemicals thus promoting a more ethical and sustainable industry and reducing the costs.
This is a significant move for Gucci, which has known for incorporating animal fur into many of its products, including kangaroo fur-lined loafers. However, the move was expected, given that Kering, Gucci’s parent company, is a leader in fashion sustainability for some time now.
The last ‘victim’ of the ‘Stella Effect’ is the American luxury fashion company, Michael Kors. The company just announced that it will be adopting a fur free fashion policy, effective from 2018. The company-wide policy includes Jimmy Choo, which was acquired by Michael Kors last July for a cool $1.2 billion.
In a statement, Michael Kors said, “recent technological advances in fabrications, give us the ability to create luxe aesthetics without the use of animal fur. We aim to showcase these new techniques in our upcoming runway show in February 2018.”
With its pledge, Michael Kors is the latest fashion house to sign off on the fur free fashion movement and join an exclusive elite of fashion brands such as Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Stella McCartney, Ralph Lauren, Vivienne Westwood, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Elisabetta Franchi, Madewell, American Apparel and ASOS, which have decided to go forgo the use of fur hoping to cater for the more ethical consumer. Can ‘Stella Effect’ rub so common sense on the house of Versace? Only the time will tell.