Saks Fifth Avenue, a North American retailer synonymous with luxury fashion, announced today that it will end sales of all fur products in its stores by the end of 2022.
Saks follows in the footsteps of other major retailers, including Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom, all of which have adopted fur-free policies in recent years. In its announcement today, Saks said it will also close all of its fur salons by the end of this year.
This is exciting news, and it shows the tremendous momentum right now in the fight to eliminate fur production and sales. Saks was one of the first retailers to join us in supporting the Truth in Fur Labeling Act, after we brought a consumer protection lawsuit in 2008 based on an investigation that found it and other retailers were selling real fur labeled as “faux.” Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom went fur-free in 2019 and 2020, and Saks had been under pressure from consumers to do the same.
With its decision today, Saks has chosen to keep up with the hottest trend in fashion: ditching fur. Fashion icons and designers have expressed a deep distaste for fur products. As Humane Society International investigations over the past two years have shown, wild animals like foxes, raccoon dogs and mink raised for fur are locked in tiny cages for their entire lives, deprived of any veterinary care and enrichment, are electrocuted, gassed or bludgeoned to death and, sometimes, even skinned alive. Most people do not support such cruelty and want it to end.
The global pandemic has added even more urgency for ending the fur trade. Mink farms in 11 countries, including the United States, have reported coronavirus infections, and nearly 20 million mink have been gassed to death. While there is no happy conclusion to the life of a mink on a fur farm, gassing these animals further intensifies their suffering because they are semi-aquatic and can hold their breath for extended periods of time.
Since the onset of the pandemic, France has announced it intends to ban mink fur farming, Denmark, Sweden and Italy have suspended mink fur farming, and the Netherlands has already ended fur production, years ahead of a previously announced deadline.
We applaud Saks for taking a big step in the right direction today. Shunning fur makes good business sense for the company as well: Nordstrom’s saw its stock rise soon after its fur-free announcement last year. We still have a ways to go before fur becomes a thing of the past, however, and with your support we will be at the frontlines of this fight.