Why Dolce & Gabbana bans fur is a big deal for Italy’s luxury fashion industry

Fashion label Dolce & Gabbana is banning animal fur, including Angora rabbit fur, from all future collections. Although the brand has yet to make the announcement publicly, it has confirmed its intention to become an In Defense of Animals (IDA) non-profit organization.

The brand’s decision to phase out fur speaks to a wider issue of the luxury fashion industry’s use of cruel and unnecessary animal materials. The fashion industry as a whole is responsible for killing around 100 million animals every year for fur, including around two million dogs and cats. To obtain the fur, animals such as mink, foxes, raccoons, and rabbits, among other species, are confined their entire lives in dirty, cramped cages on fur farms, and are bludgeoned, gassed, electrocuted or skinned alive. For this reason, a number of organizations around the world, including IDA, have urged brands such as Dolce & Gabbana to phase out the use of this cruelly spawned material.

“Fur and angora cause extreme cruelty to animals, and we appreciate Dolce & Gabbana’s efforts to start the compassionate trend,” IDA communications director Fleur Dawes said in a statement. “Clothing and accessories must not harm animals. We urge all designers to follow suit by abandoning all fabrics made from animal fur and animal skin.

Fashion brands are massively banning fur

Italy has long been an influential fashion mecca and the country is setting the stage for a future without fur. Last year, the country passed an amendment through its Senate that will close its 10 remaining mink farms by June and permanently ban fur farming nationwide. In addition to Dolce & Gabbana, Italian brand Moncler this week announced a similar fur ban. “We are thrilled that Moncler is committed to making the fashion industry more humane,” said PJ Smith, director of fashion policy for the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International, in a statement. “Italy has quickly become a fur-free fashion hub now that the country banned fur farming last year and many of its renowned brands, including Armani, Prada, Versace, Valentino and Gucci, are without fur.”

Other fashion brands and retailers have also pledged to eliminate the use and sale of fur. In recent years, more than 1,500 companies worldwide have committed to implementing fur-free policies. Major retailers such as Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Meiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and H&M have pulled fur from their shelves. Additionally, fashion brands such as Canada Goose, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga have removed cruel animal materials from their collections.VegNews.ElleFurBan4

The ELLE media empire followed suit, which in December 2021 banned fur from its pages in 45 editions and 46 websites. The media giant’s decision to officially end its promotion of fur bans the animal product in all of its editorial pieces, press images, parade and street imagery, as well as advertisements – a major statement that reaches 175 millions of readers worldwide.

Celebrities are also speaking out against the use of fur. Vegan musician Billie Eilish agreed to wear an Oscar de la Renta dress to last year’s Met Gala on one condition: that the designer change her policy and end all fur sales. The brand’s general manager, Alex Bolen, obliged, ushering in a historic change for the designer.

British comedian Ricky Gervais – who recently revealed he’s vegan – has also spoken out against buying fur: “If you buy fur, you buy cruelty,” Gervais said as part of a a Fur Free Friday campaign in 2020. “Beautiful, innocent, intelligent animals, tortured to death for fashion. Shame on you. Repugnant. I support In Defense of Animals against the cruel fur trade.VegNews.MinkFurFarming

The furless movement

In addition to the cruel reality of fur, a development that pushes fur even more into fashion came at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when many mink farms across Europe and the United States reported the presence of the COVID-19 virus in mink. This has led to mass culling of mink in many countries, with some countries closing mink farms as a public health measure.

As the fur-free movement continues to gain strength, it’s moving beyond individual brands ditching cruelly-bred material to cities and countries that officially enact fur bans into law. Last year, Israel became the first country to ban the sale of cruelly bred animal skins.

In the United States, fur bans have been enacted in San Francisco, West Hollywood and Los Angeles in recent years. In 2019, California became the first state in the nation to ban fur sales and fur trapping.

For more on fashion without fur, read:
Canada Goose pledges to eliminate fur by the end of 2022
Nordstrom officially bans exotic animal fur and skins

Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus goes fur-free

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