Citing “positive dialogue” between Prada and members of the Fur Free Alliance, including LAV and the Humane Society of the United States, the Italian fashion house announced Wednesday that it will no longer use the material, beginning with its spring/summer 2020 women’s collection.
“The Prada Group is committed to innovation and social responsibility, and our fur-free policy…is an extension of that engagement,” Miuccia Prada, co-CEO and head designer of the Prada and Miu Miu brands, said in a statement. “Focusing on innovative materials will allow the company to explore new boundaries of creative design while meeting the demand for ethical products.”
Any existing fur in Prada’s inventory will be sold until “quantities [are] exhausted,” she added.
The company notes that it had already committed itself to a “gradual and concrete reduction” of animal fur—which it claimed in September represents less than 0.1 percent of its entire production—and experimenting with synthetic alternatives such as nylon and teddy-bear fabrics from German toymaker Steiff. But fur has also made several memorable turns on the Prada catwalk, including the colorful striped stoles that featured prominently in its spring/summer 2011 “banana” collection.
Brigit Oele, program manager for Fur Free Alliance, lauded Prada for being “one of the fastest” companies to go fur-free once discussions began just over a year ago. She noted that the Fur Free Retailer Program now includes 1,000 companies, revealing how animal-welfare concerns have shifted attitudes on animal fur in recent years. “This is a great day for animals,” she said.
Indeed, an anti-fur zeitgeist appears to be sweeping across the Western world, from luxury brands like Burberry, Chanel, Coach, Gucci, Giorgio Armani, Hugo Boss and Versace to high-end e-tailers such as Yoox Net-a-Porter and Farfetch. San Francisco, Berkeley, West Hollywood and Los Angeles have all made fur verboten within their limits, and New York City and the States of New York and California are mulling their own bans as well.
While People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which signed on as a Prada shareholder in 2016 to campaign internally against exotic-skin sales, praised the company decision, it also called for still-bolder changes.
“Its decision to ban fur is a triumph for animals and activists,” said Dan Mathews, senior vice president at PETA. “We now urge the brand to follow in Chanel’s compassionate footsteps by also removing cruelly obtained exotic skins—including crocodile, lizard and snake skins—from future collections. Most shoppers no longer wish to wear anything from any animal who was electrocuted, bludgeoned, and killed.”