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Mytheresa Drops Fur After Nixing Exotic Skins

Fashion’s flight from fur has another party member: Mytheresa.

After yanking exotic skins from its lineup, the Munich-based luxury retailer revealed Thursday that it will no longer stock products made from animal fur by the end of 2022. The ban, which will apply to products across all Mytheresa operations, including its two physical locations, runs the gamut, covering fur from both factory-farmed and wild animals, including mink, foxes and chinchillas, coyotes and beavers. It does not, however, extend to leather, suede, shearling, sheepskin or calf hair.

“At Mytheresa, we believe that sustainability is an important part of our future strategy, and this view is clearly shared by our customers, partners and employees,” CEO Michael Kliger said in a statement. “As we already stopped buying exotic skins in spring/summer 2021, it was clear that going fur-free is the natural next step for Mytheresa.”

By exotic skins, Mytheresa means the hides of species including but not limited to python, alligator, crocodile, ostrich, lizard, shark, kangaroo and stingray.

Kliger said that the ban dovetails with the “changing needs and ethical choices” of its customers and that the company will lean on innovation to “continuously seek more sustainable alternatives.”

Mytheresa honed its reframed ethos both in collaboration with the Humane Society of the United States, an animal-rights group, and in accordance with the guidelines of the Fur Free Retailer program, an international coalition of animal and environmental protection organizations.

PJ Smith, director of fashion policy for the Humane Society of the United States, praised the decision, noting that animal-welfare policies like Mytheresa’s will “help drive the demand for innovative materials that are better for animals and the planet and should be part of every company’s environmental, social and corporate governance strategy.”

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Sylvie Kremerskothen Gleason, Germany director for Humane Society International/Europe said it’s now time for Germany and the rest of Europe to outlaw the sale of fur.

“We welcome Mytheresa’s compassionate pledge to go fur-free,” she said. “This pledge reflects the ethical concerns and demands of consumers and puts the company shoulder to shoulder with some of the most respected names in luxury and designer fashion, such as Hugo Boss, Canada Goose, Oscar de la Renta, Gucci, Prada, Chanel and Versace, in rejecting fur. We now need the German government to strongly advocate for a Europe-wide ban on fur production and to take appropriate action.”

Germany’s last remaining mink farm shuttered in 2019, two years after the country introduced legislation requiring stricter standards of fur farms, including increased cage sizes and swimming basins for the animals. The new demands, animal-rights campaigners said, made fur farming less than profitable, accelerating the downfall of the practice despite the lack of an official fur production ban.

News of Covid-19 spreading among mink in Denmark and elsewhere has also dented fur’s cachet, with Mytheresa only part of a growing club that includes fellow retailers such as Farfetch, Holt Renfrew, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Yoox Net-a-Porter. Bigger moves are happening, too. In June, Israel made history as the world’s first country to ban the sale of fur altogether. Just last week, Ann Arbor became the seventh municipality in the United States—and the third outside California after Wellesley and Weston in Massachusetts—to make selling fur verboten. The ban goes into effect after one year, allowing retailers time to ditch their stock while maintaining existing order commitments. Following that grace period, violations could result in fines of $500.

“Considering the availability of faux fur for fashion and apparel, the City Council finds that the demand for fur products does not justify the unnecessary killing and cruel treatment of animals, harm to the environment, and the public health risks to the people of the city of Ann Arbor caused by these practices,” the ordinance states. “The City Council believes that prohibiting the sale of fur products in the city of Ann Arbor will decrease the demand for these cruel and environmentally harmful products and promote community awareness of animal welfare and will foster a more humane environment in the city of Ann Arbor.”