Article By: Bernita Marais
Global fashion house Versace is another addition to an expanding list of luxury fashion brands that have made the decision to join the ongoing trend of ethical fashion. What is ethical fashion? It is an umbrella term to describe ethical fashion design, production, retail and purchasing. This also includes animal welfare and an alternative to fur. It seems as if faux fur may have found a permanent place on the runway, especially with more fashion lables than ever before selling faux products at a spectrum of price options. Faux has now turned into a fashion statement of its own; it is obvious that faux fur has become a symbol of the modern era with varying degrees of quality and luxuriousness. Choosing this luxurious alternative means you stand against cruelty without sacrificing style.
Gucci is arguably the most high profile label to go fur-free, Marco Bizzarri, CEO of Gucci said. Style was one of the main factors that contributed to his decision on opting for the faux. “I don’t think it’s still modern,” he said. Bizzarri also explained change was inevitable as half of Gucci shoppers are millennials that are well known for their ethical-minded consumption patterns. Faux production today combines the best of art and science allowing us to emulate real fur, free of cruelty, just as beautiful with the same look and feel without feeling guilty.
The American fashion house Michael Kors also announced it will no longer make use of animal fur in its products, with production being phased out by the end of December 2018, this policy will apply companywide, including Jimmy Choo, which Kors acquired in July 2017. This decision comes from looking at alternatives after coming under pressure from animal rights activists as well as changing consumer taste.
More and more luxury brands are opting to go fur-free as they realise consumers are becoming educated and aware of the products they purchase as well as where those products are sourced, they feel everyone has a responsibility towards the environment as well as the people and animals that share the planet with us. Will faux fur be able to replace the real thing? Probably not, considering there are still consumers interested in animal fur despite the alternatives, with the same level of softness, quality, and warmth. Whatever the case may be, the fashion industry has and will always find ways to help consumers ‘fake it until they make it’.
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