Today, ELLE, one of the world’s most recognizable fashion magazines, announced an end to animal fur in its pages and online. Following nearly a year of dialogue with our fur-free campaigners, the global publication made its fur-free announcement at Business of Fashion’s 2021 VOICES event in the UK.
This is huge. The impact of ELLE going fur-free will likely touch every sector of the fashion industry because fashion brands and retailers that want to advertise in the publication will have to avoid animal fur in all photoshoots. Brands that want ELLE to promote their runway collections will have to ensure their fashion shows are free of animal fur. And social media influencers who want ELLE to praise their style will have to opt for fur-free alternatives.
Removing fur from ELLE’s pages and images disrupts the cruel cycle of fashion that depicts fur as a glamorous and accepted norm, despite the millions of animals born just to live miserable lives in cages before being killed for their fur. ELLE has a significant influence on consumer trends, including how future generations perceive what is fashionable. Every month, about 21 million people around the globe turn to ELLE for style advice and a glimpse of current and future fashion trends. So, when animal fur is no longer seen in the pages of ELLE, it’s a clear message that fur is a relic that belongs in history textbooks instead of fashion magazines.
This is a massive blow to the fur industry, which is already experiencing historic lows in consumer demand for fur. Last year was the worst year on record for the U.S. fur trade, and the year before that is now on record as the second worst. In September, Kering, one of the world’s largest luxury fashion companies, announced that it is going completely fur-free. Countries and regions are also increasingly passing policies that cut down on fur: France, Estonia and British Columbia, Canada, recently announced bans on fur farming, and U.S. cities, Boulder, Colorado, and Hallandale Beach, Florida, recently banned fur sales, a policy also adopted by Israel earlier this year.
Earlier this year, the HSUS, Humane Society International, ELLE and Creatives4Change—an initiative by fashion photographer Alexi Lubomirski that asks creatives to no longer use fur in their projects—began discussions about what a fur-free policy at ELLE would look like. Together, we created a global charter that not only phases out the promotion of animal fur for ELLE’s editorial content, which includes press images, runway images and street style images, but also phases out the depiction of animal fur in any advertisements in its pages, online or social media. All of ELLE’s editions around the globe, including the U.S., France, Italy, China, Russia, Denmark and Germany, have already signed the charter with 13 fur-free policies already in effect, 20 going into effect by January 1, 2022, and the rest by January 1, 2023.
With today’s announcement from ELLE, it’s clear things are about to get a whole lot worse for the fur trade and a whole lot better for animals. Today is a day to celebrate the great progress we as a global society are making toward a more humane future.
Follow Kitty Block on Twitter @HSUSKittyBlock.