The Italian luxury brand said Wednesday that it will no longer use the downy fibers produced by Angora rabbits beginning with the 2022-23 autumn/winter season. The move, it said, is part of its broader fur-free policy instituted in 2016, following talks with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in the United Kingdom.
“Today’s socially conscious fashion consumers want nothing to do with an industry that rips the hair out of fully conscious rabbits,” Mimi Bekhechi, vice president of international programs at PETA U.K., said in a statement. “PETA U.K. is celebrating Armani’s decision to extend its no-fur policy to include angora and encourages all designers still using it to get with the times.”
Undercover footage from the animal-rights group shows workers violently ripping the fur from Angora rabbits as they cry out in pain. The process happens every three months for two to five years, PETA said, after which the animals have their throats slit and their carcasses sold. Ninety percent of angora wool used in hats, sweaters and other products hails from China, where there are no penalties for animal abuse and no standards that regulate their treatment, it added.
Armani joins a growing roster of brands, including Asos, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Diane von Furstenberg, Gucci, H&M, Tommy Hilfiger, Valentino and Zara owner Inditex, that have dropped angora due to animal-welfare concerns. Last month, Farfetch revealed plans to phase out the sale of angora by April, citing, in part, the “changing needs of our customers.” The luxury e-tailer had already banned fur in 2019.
Glossy magazines, too, are now taking a stand against animal cruelty. At Business of Fashion’s 2021 Voices event in London on Thursday, Elle International said it will no longer be promoting fur after conversations between Elle brand owner Lagardère Group, the Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International and Creatives4Change.
“Societal engagement has always been one of the key pillars of the Elle brand,” Constance Benqué, CEO of Lagardère News and CEO of Elle International, said in a statement. “The world has changed and the end of the use of fur is aligned with the course of History. We hope that, with this commitment, Elle will open the path for other media to disallow fur promotion, all around the globe, and promote a fur-free future.”
According to Elle’s new charter, any editorial content that promotes fur on its pages, websites and social media, including advertisements, editorials, press images, runway and street style images, is now verboten. All 45 Elle editions around the world, including those in Argentina, Belgium, China, Denmark, Norway, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam, will comply with the charter by Jan 1, 2023, at the latest, though the agreement is already in effect for 13 of them. Elle sells 6.6 million copies every month, with a total reach of 175 million people through its myriad channels, including mobile and tablet apps.
“For many years, Elle has been engaged toward environment, sustainability and ecology through regular features or special green issues,” said Valéria Bessolo LLopiz, senior vice president and international director of Elle. “The presence of animal fur in our pages and on our digital media is no longer in line with our values, nor our readers’. It is time for Elle to make a statement on this matter, a statement that reflects our attention to the critical issues of protecting and caring for the environment and animals, rejecting animal cruelty. It is also an opportunity for Elle to increase awareness for animal welfare, bolster the demand for sustainable and innovative alternatives, and foster a more humane fashion industry.”
The news comes as Rudsak said it will no longer be using fur by the end of 2022. The Québécois outerwear brand, which made the announcement Thursday, joins fellow Great White Northerners Canada Goose, Mackage and Moose Knuckles in eschewing the material in the wake of heavy campaigning by animal activists such as PETA.
“No kind shopper today would dream of buying a coat trimmed with bits of animals’ stolen fur,” Tracy Reiman, executive vice president at PETA, said in a statement. “Grassroots activists and PETA are celebrating Rudsak’s compassionate and savvy decision to join the vast majority of the fashion world in saying goodbye to the cruel fur industry.”