In a landmark announcement that brings us closer than ever to the demise of fur, Macy’s Inc. — the parent company of the iconic American department stores Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s — says it will go fur-free by the end of 2020. This includes permanently closing all of its fur vaults and salons, areas of the store dedicated to fur products.
Macy’s is a retail behemoth — the largest U.S. department store with 900 stores in 44 states. It is also something of an institution, with an unparalleled reach into American hearts and homes. The company’s flagship store in New York City has long been associated with popular culture and high fashion. When a company like this says no to fur, it is a clear sign that the days of this unnecessary commodity are numbered.
The Humane Society of the United States is proud to have worked closely with Macy’s behind the scenes in helping the company make this humane-minded decision. In a press release today, Jeff Gennette, chairman and chief executive officer of Macy’s, Inc. said: “Over the past two years, we have been closely following consumer and brand trends, listening to our customers, and researching alternatives to fur. We’ve listened to our colleagues…and we have met regularly on this topic with the Humane Society of the United States and other NGOs. Macy’s private brands are already fur free, so expanding this practice to across all Macy’s, Inc. is the natural next step.”
The announcement from Macy’s builds on an avalanche of fur-free policies adopted by popular fashion brands in recent years, including Prada, Gucci, Michael Kors, Burberry and many others. Earlier this month, California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a ban on fur sales into law, setting a trend that more American states and cities will no doubt follow. Globally, more than a dozen European countries, including the United Kingdom, Austria, the Czech Republic, Norway and the Netherlands have also passed laws to restrict the cruel fur trade. Just last week, the Slovakian National Council approved a ban on fur farming, committing to close the last of its mink and rabbit fur farms by 2025. Ireland is in the process of passing a ban on fur production. And a draft bill has been introduced in Bulgaria.
The fur industry simply cannot justify the cruelty it inflicts on 100 million animals each year—including foxes, mink, rabbits and raccoon dogs. Last week, Humane Society International/United Kingdom released a shocking investigation that shows the terrible suffering of foxes and mink in filthy cages on fur farms in Finland. When the animals are just eight months old, they are killed and skinned, so a human somewhere can wear a fur coat or fur trim.
Animals trapped for their fur in the wild are no better off. They languish in leghold traps, often for days without food or water, before they are cruelly killed. The cruelty is especially unnecessary because alternatives that simulate the look and feel of fur are now widely available, and are more luxurious and sustainable than ever before. Just last month, Stella McCartney released Koba faux fur, a fur made from a blend of corn and recycled materials that is both environment-friendly and animal-friendly.
We are proud to be part of the revolution that is working to bring an end to this suffering, and we will continue to fight this scourge globally until it is wiped off the face of the earth. Today’s announcement from Macy’s gives us added inspiration and our movement even greater momentum as we continue to work toward a fur-free future.