London has become the first of the main fashion weeks to officially ditch animal fur entirely from its runway shows.
The British Fashion Council (BFC), a non-profit trade organisation, today announced the results of a survey they conducted with all the designers on the official London Fashion Week catwalk and presentation schedule, revealed real fur would be totally absent from the runways when the biannual London Fashion Week (LFW) event kicks off next week.
“Over the last seasons we have seen fewer businesses using fur in their show collection and this season is the first time the survey has seen 100% commitment in advance of the event that there will be no fur on the catwalks,” says Caroline Rush, BFC CEO. “I believe the BFC survey results reflect a cultural change and choices made by designer businesses as well as consumer sentiment.”
The fashion industry as a whole has been accelerating its transition to a more ethical, fur-free future in recent years, with anti-fur stalwarts like Stella McCartney joined by Hugo Boss in 2015, Armani and The Kooples in 2016 and Gucci, Net-a-Porter and Michael Kors in 2017.
Earlier this year Tom Ford, Versace and Maison Margiela also committed to a fur-free future, and this week Burberry has announced it is the latest high-end fashion brand to go fur-free.
Burberry’s new creative director Riccardo Tisci will show his entirely fur-free debut collection at LFW next week. The company has committed to a fur-free policy going forward, with all remaining fur items being phased out. “I don’t think it is compatible with modern luxury and with the environment in which we live, and Riccardo has a very strong view as well on this,” its chief executive, Marco Gobbetti, told the Business of Fashion. “It’s part of what Burberry is today.”
Rush applauds the move: “Burberry is our largest global designer fashion brand and we are proud that it continues to take a leadership position in industry changes.”
For Hannah Weiland, founder of faux-fur coat brand Shrimps, the transition to a more sustainable status quo was an inevitable one. “For me it’s not surprising that LFW is going fur free, London as a city is very innovative and a leader in important issues such as this. Hopefully all countries will follow suit!”
“Shrimps launched as and still is an animal-friendly brand, so working with real fur was never an option,” she continues. “A faux fur coat was the first Shrimps piece I designed, it will always be a material that is at the heart of the brand. Faux fur is luxurious and cruelty free and I’m so happy other big brands are adopting it.”
Stella McCartney, whose eponymous brand was one of the first to be entirely vegetarian, is similarly celebratory.
“There is a reason I have my headquarters in London,” she says. “I was born here and to hear about the fur free fashion week decision fills me with a hope that fashion can be cruelty free one day and reminds me that the city of London is still punk rock and has its finger on the future of fashion! This is what the next generation demand and London has heard it loud and clear! So proud to be a Londoner! Thank you London fashion week for showing others this is the way forward in fashion!”
The BFC survey forms part of the organisation’s Positive Fashion initiative, a platform designed to celebrate industry best practice and encourage future business decisions to create further positive change. The BFC conduct the survey each season with designers showing on the official schedule with a commitment to understanding how these businesses are committing to positive change.