Luxury brand Coach has become the latest fashion brand to adopt a 100 percent fur-free policy, with the company’s chief executive Joshua Schulman declaring, “We’re doing it because we believe it’s the right thing to do.”
The Humane Society of the United States has been working with Coach toward this outcome for many years, educating its executives and shareholders about the animal cruelty associated with fur, and filing several shareholder resolutions with Coach over its use of fur in its bags and clothing lines. We couldn’t be more pleased that Coach has listened to our concerns, and we’re grateful.
The year 2018 has already seen an avalanche of progress toward a fur-free future:
- In January, Columbia Sportswear adopted a fur-free policy and the Council of Fashion Designers of America welcomed one of our staff members to present to its members, including many of the most influential designers in the industry, about the fur-free movement.
- In March, San Francisco banned the sale of fur within city limits. Donna Karan/DKNY, Versace, Furla, Bottega Veneta and Nicholas K all adopted fur-free policies. And Linden Staub became the first modeling agency to ban the use of fur in any photoshoots featuring its models.
- In April, InStyle magazine became the first major fashion publication to ban fur within its pages, prohibiting any advertisements or photos that include fur.
- In June, Gucci banned angora and FarFetch.com posted its fur-free policy.
- In August, after meeting with the HSUS, Givenchy’s creative director announced she is a fur-free designer.
- In September, Los Angeles banned the sale of fur in city limits and London Fashion Week announced it was fur-free. Burberry, Diane von Furstenberg/DVF, and TJX (owner of TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Sierra Trading Post and HomeGoods) all announced fur-free policies.
The announcement today from a brand as iconic as Coach is the latest indication that fur is just not fashionable. The fur trade kills more than 100 million animals each year, with animals used for fur either trapped in the wild, where they remain in cruel leghold traps for days without food or water, or raised in cramped cages for their entire lives and then killed by electrocution or gassing. Consumers worldwide are saying no to all of that and fashion leaders are following.
Kudos to my colleagues at the HSUS and Humane Society International who work tirelessly every day on this important campaign, to other animal protection groups tackling this issue, to grassroots activists everywhere who are applying pressure on fashion brands, and to consumers who are choosing alternatives to fur. We are winning, and the future we’re helping to create is decidedly fur-free.