New York Could Be Fur Free By 2021

Anti-fur PETA Protest, 2018. Image: The Guardian/Yui Mok

Anti-fur PETA Protest, 2018. Image: The Guardian/Yui Mok

In recent years, the manufacturing and sale of fur has become increasingly stigmatised due to its cruelty. Many designers including Burberry, Versace and Gucci have already decided to remove fur from their collections, but another major step towards a fur free future has just been taken. Manhattan assembly woman Linda Rosenthal has recently introduced an anti-fur bill which would end the sale and manufacturing of all fur in New York by 2021. 

Rosenthal believes that it is the perfect time to act, as she told the New York Post “consumers are looking for more ethical and sustainable purchases”. There has been a shift in attitude for both consumers and designers who are looking for a moral fashion future, with more and more relinquishing furs and skins due to their inhumane methods of production. The most recent being British designer Victoria Beckham, who stopped the use of exotic skins in February. 

If the bill is passed New York will join other prominent US cities like Los Angeles and San Fransisco who both passed similar legislation last year. The sale and manufacturing of fur in Los Angeles will have stopped by 2020 and will be the largest US city to do so to date.  

In the UK, London’s 2018 Fashion Week was the first to go fur free, a pivotal moment in the fight against fur as its rejection by such a high-profile event highlights its downfall in the industry. Fur farming was made illegal in 2000 but import is still legal, with the charity Humane Society International (HSI) claiming that £74 million worth of fur was imported in 2017. Although there have been large protests to change this, it remains legal.  

But for how much longer? As more and more high-profile designers choose to ban fur it is clear that the industry is evolving. As is the consumer, and as more people protest animal cruelty, the more brands listen to their clientele’s desires. Fur used to be synonymous with glamour and luxury, but modern luxury – as Burberry CEO Marco Gobetti aptly put – is “socially and environmentally responsible”.  

TEXT BY ISOBEL GORMAN-BUCKLEY