Michael Kors Commits To Going Fur-Free In 2018

by: Well Made Clothes Staff | 3 years ago | News

Image: Michael Kors. Image source.

As luxury fashion continues to slowly embrace more responsible production processes, Michael Kors has become the latest designer to commit to going fur-free. Last week the American brand announced that it will no longer use animal fur in its products, with production officially being phased out by the end of December 2018. Since the label also has a stake in brands such as Jimmy Choo, the new policy will apply companywide.  

Which comes as quite a dramatic departure for Michael Kors – a brand that has frequently sent fur coats down the runway in the past. But it represents part of a broader cultural shift that’s happening right now throughout the fashion industry. “This decision marks a new chapter as our company continues to evolve its use of innovative materials,” Michael Kors’ chairman and chief executive John D. Idol said in a statement. To which the designer himself added: “due to technological advances in fabrications, we now have the ability to create a luxe aesthetic using non-animal fur. We will showcase these new techniques in our upcoming runway show in February.”

This latest announcement follows similar moves by the likes of Gucci, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Armani, which have all recently gone fur-free as well. Meanwhile, retailers like Selfridges, Yoox and Net-a-Porter steer clear of selling fur items as well. But despite these efforts, the use of fur still prevails in fashion. According to the Fur Information Council of America spokesperson Keith Kaplan, "nearly 70 percent of major designers included fur in their Autumn/Winter 2017 collections."

“In the pre-Fall 2018 showings currently underway, fur continues to maintain a major presence, because innovative new techniques in fur processing and production allow designers a breadth of creative possibilities unmatched by any other textile,” continued Kaplan. “Designers and consumers also recognise the value of fur as a natural and sustainable product, as well as the artisanal craft skills that make each fur piece unique, [which is] especially important as consumers become more aware of the environmental and social costs of mass-produced fast fashion."

So perhaps it will take more than a few brands to really tip the fashion industry balance away from using real fur, then. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is the organisation that worked with Michael Kors on the company's new fur-free policy. And HSUS’s senior manager of fashion policy PJ Smith explained that “today’s consumers want fashionable, luxurious clothing and accessories that also align with their social values and Michael Kors’ fur-free move makes it a leader in that regard.” But the company hasn’t always been looked upon in such a favourable light, of course.

In fact, earlier this year, protestors interrupted the designer’s speech at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, chanting and playing the sounds of animals being killed for fur, which caused the event to be temporarily shut down. What the brand's responsive action demonstrates, then, is that there is great power in the collective voice and in holding your favourite brands to account when it comes to responsible production processes.

Via Business of Fashion


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