Michael Kors to go fur-free as consumers and fabric tech give thumbs-up to faux
Michael Kors is going fur-free. The American fashion company and the UK unit it bought recently announced on Friday that it will no longer use animal fur in its products, with production being phased out for all of its brands by the end of December 2018.
“I am pleased to announce our company’s commitment to no longer use animal fur in our Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo collections,” said John D Idol, the Company’s Chairman and CEO. “This decision marks a new chapter as our company continues to evolve its use of innovative materials.”
Michael Kors is the latest to join the growing number of companies that are no longer use animal products, including Gucci, Zara, H&M, Armani, Topshop, and Scotch & Soda, all of which are part of the Fur Free Retailer program. VF Corporation joined the program in November for its brands Timberland, The North Face and Napapijri
American labels Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger are also fur-free, as well as Selfridges and Yoox-Net-a-Porter, which do not sell fur items.
The announcement comes six months after 20 animal rights activists protested against Kors during his speech at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
According to Kors, the company now has the ability to produce luxurious products without using animal fur. “Due to technological advances in fabrications, we now have the ability to create a luxe aesthetic using non-animal fur,” said the designer. “We will showcase these new techniques in our upcoming runway show in February.”
It's undeniable that the number of superior faux fur products - based on synthetics or natural materials like mohair - has increased in recent years. This has seen some brands taking a middle road, offering both real fur or faux options - such as Prada's fur-trimmed coats this AW17 season with retailers able to choose from real or faux trims.
But aside from the availability of materials, the fashion pendulum has also swung away from the increasing consumer acceptance of fur only a few years ago to a strong anti-fur stance. This has been less about militancy than a simple view among the increasingly important Millennial consumer group that fur-free and a general ethical approach are non-negotiable for the brands that they buy.
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