The Italian fashion house Prada has announced it will stop using fur in its collections. The ban will come into effect this September for its spring/summer 2020 women’s collections, although items that have already been made will continue to be sold.
The move has come about in collaboration with the Fur Free Alliance, an international coalition of more than 40 animal protection organisations working together to end animal cruelty.
In a statement released yesterday, Miuccia Prada, the artistic director of the fashion house that includes Miu Miu, said: “The Prada Group is committed to innovation and social responsibility, and our fur-free policy is an extension of that engagement. Focusing on innovative materials will allow the company to explore new boundaries of creative design, while meeting the demand for ethical products.”
Prada joins a host of other brands that have vowed to go fur-free in the last few years, largely in response to changing consumer attitudes towards animal welfare. The list now includes Gucci, Chanel, Burberry, Versace, DKNY and Coach. Last September, London fashion week also committed to banning fur, making it the first of the big fashion weeks to do so.
It has been months since any of the other big players still using fur has made a similar move, leading activists to hope this will reignite the movement. Among those brands still to go fur-free is Fendi, which, like Prada, is owned by the French luxury conglomerate LVMH.
Speaking to the Business of Fashion, Lorenzo Bertelli, Prada Group’s head of marketing and communications, cited low demand as another catalyst for the move, saying: “Fur has never been part of the main pieces of Prada.” With fur making just 0.1% of materials used in production, the site reported that the ban “won’t have much impact on Prada’s bottom line … but it will likely give the luxury brand a marketing boost”.
The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals put out a statement yesterday celebrating the news, but also calling on the house to go one step further and “follow in Chanel’s compassionate footsteps by also removing cruelly obtained exotic skins – including crocodile, lizard, and snake skins – from future collections”.
The shift to fur-free alternatives is not without its pitfalls: the environmental impact of sourcing alternatives such as synthetic faux fur is now in the spotlight.