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Amsterdam Could be the Next Major City to Go Fur Free

While animal welfare causes continue to sweep across the fashion industry, Amsterdam has its eye on becoming the next fur free hub.

According to Bont voor Dieren, a Dutch animal welfare group, the municipality of Amsterdam wants to ban the sale of fur in the city’s markets. Amsterdam’s municipal executive informed the municipal council about the proposed fur ban, which comes on the heels of an initiative law proposed by the Party for the Animals, an animal rights political party in the Netherlands. The city council is expected to vote on the fur ban proposal this fall.

“We are very happy that Amsterdam has taken this step toward a fur-free city. After West Hollywood and Berkeley, San Francisco became the third fur-free city last month,” Nicole van Gemert, Bont voor Dieren’s director, said. “It would be great if Amsterdam continued this and became the fourth fur-free city in the world.”

The proposed fur ban is not Amsterdam’s first major effort to curb fur in the city. Previously, Hartenstraat, an Amsterdam shopping street, was named as the first fur free shopping street in Europe by Bont voor Dieren and Animal Welfare alderman Laurens Ivens. All of Hartenstraat’s 19 entrepreneurs answered the municipality of Amsterdam’s appeals to go fur free and removed all animal-derived fur from their product assortments. Some clothing brands on Hartenstraat, including fashion retailer COS, already implemented fur free policies, while the Amsterdam branch of Karl Lagerfeld and other shops decided to remove fur from their shelves following talks with Bont voor Dieren.

Despite progress surrounding animal welfare, Bont voor Dieren said a lot of fur is still sold across Amsterdam, including at the Albert Cuyp market and the Noordermarkt. In addition, not all consumers are aware of the negative circumstances surrounding using animal fur for clothing and may purchase fur products at these markets without that knowledge to inform their buying decisions. They’re also not always aware whether fur-like things are made from the real stuff or faux.

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“It is often not clear to consumers whether the coats, key rings, hats and other items are made from real or faux fur. As a result, they can purchase unintentionally real fur obtained in a very animal unfriendly manner,” Bont voor Dieren said. “The ban must put an end to this.”

Amsterdam’s proposed fur ban takes cues from other leading cities, including San Francisco, which has recently gone fur free. Last month, San Francisco became the first major city to ban the sale and manufacturing of new fur apparel. The city’s ordinance, which will take effect Jan. 1, will prohibit the sale and manufacturing of new fur in San Francisco. A one-year amnesty ending Jan. 1, 2020, was granted by the city to accommodate retailers that can show proof of purchase before March 20, 2018.

Many apparel brands have also banned fur in their products and supply chains. Last year, Gucci and VF Corp. created new animal materials policies and prohibited the use of fur in their apparel, footwear and accessories collections.