A few days ago, the world learnt of Michael Kors’ decision to stop the use of fur in their collections. From 2018 Michael Kors will join the list of designers refusing to use fur; a list which includes the likes of Stella McCartney, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and more recently, industry giants Gucci.
The move comes after what seems to be a continuing shift in consumer taste and preference towards more ethical, faux fur and away from the real thing. The public has a greater knowledge and awareness than ever of the issues surrounding the fur industry and animal rights and it’s great to see designers responding to these changes and acknowledging the opinions of their customers.
The company came under increasing pressure recently when a group of American, animal rights activists stormed Kors’ speech at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Other fashion brands have also found themselves targets of similar protests at London fashion week as a result of the anger towards the continued use of fur in the industry. Despite many luxury fashion giants making all the right noise about stopping the use of fur, “Nearly 70 percent of major designers included fur in their Autumn/Winter 2017 collections,” according to Keith Kaplan from the fur information council of America. SO clearly there is a lot of room for improvement.
The decision to ditch the fur will be rolled out company-wide, so will also extended to the Jimmy Choo brand (which Michael Kors acquired back in June 2017).
Now I’m not trying to be negative here as I’m thrilled by this announcement and can see it being the catalyst for even more designers to go fur free. However, despite so many designers turning their back on fur, many appear to continue with their use of leather. My only question is, is fur really any worse than leather? Leather is after all, cow’s skin yet the use of leather in fashion doesn’t seem to generate anywhere near as much attention or controversy as the use of fur does. But who knows, with the continuing rise of vegan and vegetarianism that seems to be taking over the world at the minute, perhaps it’s just a matter of time until we see a fashion industry that is completely free from skins, leathers and furs. I’ll continue to live in hope anyway.