Recent times have proven that fashion can’t afford to be in its own bubble anymore, with little consideration of the industry’s effects in the environment. Consumers are becoming more socially and environmentally conscious, and thus expecting the brands they follow to be the same.
High fashion labels with great pull such as Michael Kors, Burberry, Versace, and Gucci, among others, have announced going fur-free in recent years, and more are expected to go down the same route. The past week saw another great win for environmentalists—Los Angeles became the largest city, both in the United States of America and globally, to join the ranks of the aforementioned brands.
A move seen to inspire other fashion hubs
Los Angeles made history through its own city council, led by Bob Blumenfield, Paul Koretz and Mitch O’Farrell, voting unanimously to ban fur in the city, covering both the sales and manufacturing aspects of the industry. Previously, San Francisco, West Hollywood, and Berkeley—all under the state of California—reached the same decision.
The vote will then lead the city attorney of Los Angeles to draft a policy, which will be sent back to the council for approval. Once finalized, it will be forwarded to the mayor for its official signing. The ban is projected to take effect in January and fully implemented by the end of 2020. In the two years following its effectivity, retailers will be allowed to sell off remaining garments and accessories made in fur. The council is still reconsidering products made for religious reasons, and used items will be exempt from the rule.
The horrifying conditions animals have to go through and the toxicity of the items to the environment were cited as the main reasons for the motion. Although Los Angeles may be associated with glitz and glamour, just in the same way that fur is, because of its being home to Hollywood and the stars, the use of fur really is not justified in a city that has an average temperature that is hotter than most. The council hopes that with a city of Los Angeles’ scope and influence banning the production and selling of fur, other fashion capitals will be prompted to do the same.
A victory for activists
Prior to reaching a decision, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or PETA have rallied at the Los Angeles City Hall, pushing for the council to vote against the use of fur in the city. The movement has also gained traction among celebrity activists, including actresses Mena Suvari and Alicia Silverstone. Members have made appeals and attended committee meetings, in addition to convening activists in front of the city hall. The decision was seen as a success and PETA hoped that it would make the rest of the world listen to what Los Angeles has to say.
Not everyone was glad about the development, though. The Fur Information Council of America, which previously commented on similar news in other Californian municipalities, said that the ban did not do much because those looking for fur can simply head somewhere else to buy them. This will also hurt local businesses who have depended on fur to make a living for years. Koretz has insisted however that this is a necessary sacrifice. “Animal cruelty is animal cruelty, and if we lose a few jobs, that’s life,” he was quoted as saying.
Image credits: Richard Vogel/Associated Press, Getty Images. Mel Melcon & Al Seib / Los Angeles Times, iStock, Shutterstock.