Michaels Kors announced they are going fur-free starting 2018. The American fashion brand announced their intention of staying off the fur in all their fashion items. This will also apply to the famed shoe brand Jimmy Choos which Kors acquired in 2017.
In the past, Kors has showcased their glamorous fur items on many fashion runways every year. In announcing their intention to stay off the fur, Michael Kors is joining a number of other fashion companies that are weaning off their fur demand.
The move towards fur-free products is coming after many years of pressure by animal rights activists. They have continuously shown how the fashion industry is leading to declining in animal species such as the polar bear and the Siberian tiger.
These animals have declined to alarming numbers thanks to poaching for their pricey fur. As the demand for these fabulous items rises driven by rising incomes, these animals are facing a very real threat of extinction.
John D. Idol, Kor’s chairman and chief executive, says that Kors has outgrown its dependence on fur, and will be focusing on making aesthetic luxury products using innovative products. Indeed, Michael Kors showcased fabulous items in their February 2018 collection.
Kors will be joining other big fashion brands in producing fur-free products. These include Armani, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, and Ralph Lauren. Retail chains like Selfridges are also keeping fur products off their shelves.
But the Fur Information Council of America says that fur continues to be widely used in fashion products. In 2017, nearly 70% of fashion brands showed off items containing fur. The council says that unscrupulous fashion designers are able to include fur in their products because of its versatility.
The use of fur in mass-produced fashion items is what presents a threat to the animals carrying this fur as it means they are continuously hunted and killed just as if they were on a factory conveyer belt.
Yet fur use in artisanal fashion products is a sustainable practice that is beneficial for communities living with these animals. Indigenous people of northern Canada, for example, have always known how to harvest just the right amount of fur, from polar bears that die of natural causes. This artisanal use of fur makes unique items, which is a more sustainable way using fur.
Michael Kors says that they recognize that their customers today are environmentally conscious. They prefer fashion products that are made in socially and environmentally sustainable ways, which is Kor’s way of doing things going forward.