By Valerie Nea
The London Fashion Week took place from Sept. 14-18 and was the first main fashion week that vowed to be fur – free.
With London Fashion Week focusing on the idea of sustainability and diversity among other values, many believe that using animal material is not a form of sustainable fashion because it harms the environment in the process. Most British consumers have also commented on not wanting to take part of a fashion brand that supports animal cruelty.
This decision was implemented by the British Fashion Council (BFC) who was told that none of the designers planned to use fur in their clothing lines during this show. With this being such a large event, the BFC council believed it was important to encourage a norm of cruelty free fashion.
Caroline Rush the London Fashion Week Chief Executive stated, “As an organization we believe in the rights of people and animals and encourage designers to make ethical choices.”
Though fur farming is already outlawed in the United Kingdom, there is still about 70 dollars worth of fur being imported into the nation. Instead of stopping the sales, the BFC chose to find a way to try and discourage the retail industry from purchasing fur which will hopefully result in a reduced market for fur.
Brands such as Burberry, that are known for their fur products, have finally committed to implementing a fur free policy after a decade of pleading from the UK’s Humane Society and much backlash from animal activist groups.
With the ban on fur, synthetic faux fur will be a leading alternative source in the fashion industry. However, a shift in industrializing synthetic fur has its repercussions as well.
Rachael Stott, senior researcher at The Future Laboratory, told the Guardian news,“Animal- free doesn’t automatically mean guilt free.”
She aims to let designers and consumers know that the creation of animal free alternatives are environmentally hazardous because it releases toxic chemicals to the atmosphere and creates landfill sites.
With brands like Gucci, Michael Kors, and Versace all agreeing to the ban on fur, they are setting examples for others around the world to follow.
Recently, the Los Angeles City Council has become the largest city in America to ban the manufacturing and selling of real fur as well. The law was voted unanimously by the council, which will allow the city attorney to start drafting the legislation to ban the the sales and manufacturing of fur clothing. Though it will not be in effect for another two years it is a step towards a sustainable fashion industry.