Saint Laurent Commits To Going Fur-Free for Future Collections
Luxury fashion designer Saint Laurent is leaving fur behind. The brand's parent company Kering Group revealed that all of its brands will be leaving fur out of future clothing lines. Along with Saint Laurent, the fashion giant owns Brioni, Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Bottega Veneta, and Balenciaga, all of which have announced that they have removed fur from their lines. The decision makes fashion houses like Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, and Fendi some of the only luxury brands that have not yet made the move to ditch fur in the future.
Kering announced this decision on Friday via Instagram. The Kering Group’s CEO Francois-Henri Pinault said that “Going fur-free as a group is just the right thing to do: we do it out of conviction, for the sake of ethics and modernity” in the social media statement.
The luxury giant joins a rapidly growing list of companies moving away from fur and adopting cruelty-free, sustainable materials. The fur industry worldwide is experiencing pushback with countries and companies implementing bans for animal-derived material.
“For many years, Kering has sought to take the lead in sustainability, guided by a vision of Luxury that is inseparable from the very highest environmental and social values and standards,” Pinault told Business of Fashion. “When it comes to animal welfare, our group has always demonstrated its willingness to improve practices within its own supply chain and the luxury sector in general. The time has now come to take a further step forward by ending the use of fur in all our collections. The world has changed, along with our clients, and Luxury naturally needs to adapt to that.”
The decision to remove fur from the companies remaining brands comes following years of pushback from animal rights organizations and consumer demands. In recent decades, fur has fallen out of fashion and an increasing number of brands have dropped the material from their clothing collections. Kering’s new focus on sustainable and ethically sourced materials will affect its 15 subsidiary brands. By 2022, all Kering brands will stop using fur across all their clothing, marking a significant shift in the fashion industry.
“The future is clearly fur-free and now one of the world’s largest luxury fashion conglomerates agrees. As markets around the globe close their doors to fur products opting instead for innovative humane products, it makes complete sense for a power fashion house like Kering to make this ethical decision,” CEO of the Humane Society International Kitty Block said in a statement. “We couldn’t be more proud of our long-standing relationship with Kering and its brands and look forward to continuing our work with them to pave the way for a kinder fashion world.”
Several other signature fashion brands have already removed fur from their collections. Beyond the fashion brands, some national retailers have also prohibited the sale of fur products from all stores. Companies including Canada Goose, Valentino, Oscar de la Renta, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and others have joined the Fur Free Alliance – the international coalition dedicated to toppling the global fur industry.
The Kering Group also announced that it will be working with Bolt Threads to incorporate the start-ups innovative mushroom-derived vegan leather into its products. The company plans to reduce its animal-based leather in future products in the near future.
Following Kering’s announcement, most major companies have announced intentions or plan to remove fur from future collections. However, some major companies including LVMH (Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton) have not announced a widespread fur ban. The LVMH group oversees preeminent brands including Christain Dior, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, and more.
Animal rights groups feel confident that Kering’s decision will help push the international fashion industry to finally remove fur from the spotlight. Even though the fur industry is experiencing substantial pushback, groups including the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) believe there is still work to be done. As fur bans continue to emerge across the world, companies will feel the pressure to redesign some central clothing collections.
“Kering is synonymous with luxury fashion, and with this announcement, it marks a new era for what is considered luxury to now include what is socially responsible, ethical, and innovative,” Director of Fashion Policy at HSUS PJ Smith said in a statement. “We hope the rest of the fashion industry will take notice choosing compassion and innovation over an outdated idea of luxury.”