British luxury e-tailer Farfetch has pledged to outlaw the sale of fur from its website from December of this year, winning praise from animal-rights groups that have worked with the company for years to manifest the ban.
“Humane Society International (HSI) and our Humane Society colleagues in the U.S. have worked with Farfetch for years to bring about this fur ban,” Claire Bass, U.K. executive director of HSI, said in a statement. “We applaud the brand for taking action to ensure it’s no longer buying into the horrific suffering of the animals in the fur trade.”
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals will surely be pleased, too. Last September, the activist group snapped up Farfetch shares in a bid to convince the marketplace to drop fur garments from its “website of horrors.”
Farfetch joins fellow online retailers Asos ad Yoox Net-a-Porter Group, department store Selfridges and Marks & Spencer and luxury brands Armani, Burberry, Coach, Chanel, Donna Karan, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, John Galliano, Hugo Boss, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Stella McCartney, Versace and Vivienne Westwood in eschewing garments made with mink, rabbit, chinchilla, sable, coyote or fox.
Notable holdouts remain, however, as Fendi, Dior, Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton continue to be stalwart in their use of fur in their products. Such companies are out of step with the zeitgeist, Bass said.
“Each new fur-free announcement continues the domino effect of designers and retailers seeing the importance of distancing their brands from the fur industry’s cruelty,” she added. “The fur-free revolution shows no signs of slowing down, and it’s making fashion houses like Fendi and Dolce and Gabbana that are still selling suffering look increasingly outmoded and isolated.”
Indeed faux alternatives appear to be on the ascent. According to market research by Technavio, the global artificial fur market is growing at to compound annual growth rate of 19 percent. By 2023, it’s projected to hit $129.21 million.
On its website, HSI describes animals raised for fur as spending “short, miserable lives” in small wire cages before being gassed or electrocuted when their pelts are ready for harvesting. In the wild, leg-hold traps “inflict great pain and anguish,” both to the target animals and collateral victims such as pets and endangered wildlife.