A momentous day for animal rights activists, as The Prada Group makes the significant decision to drop their use of fur to “meet the demand for ethical products.”
Prada will stop using fur in their products from next year, 2020, becoming one of the last of its contemporaries to go fur-free. The label joins Ralph Lauren, Vivienne Westwood, Giorgio Armani, Michael Kors, Jean Paul Gaultier and Versace (to name a few) in an attempt to respond to consumers’ changing attitudes towards animal rights.
Both the Fur Free Alliance (FFA) and PETA are claiming a victory after having lobbied the fashion industry for years, crashing Prada’s catwalks with anti-fur signs and staging eye-watering demonstrations all over the world.
At the heart of the fashion chain, Miuccia Prada herself declared,
"Focusing on innovative materials will allow the company to explore new boundaries of creative design while meeting the demand for ethical products."
What was the tipping point for Prada to agree?
Animal rights campaigners amplified their calls for Prada to stop using fur last year, as, according to the Humane Society, the luxury brand was selling jackets made of fox and mink fur. After this spate of lobbying, Prada said that they would no longer list such items, but certain products do supposedly still exist, e.g. fox fur trimmed coats.
In fact, the Humane Society made this statement about the treatment of animals in fur production:
“Prada previously sold fur from mink, fox and rabbit. All three species suffer terribly on fur farms where they are confined for short lives in barren, wire-mesh cages where their existence is so deprived, monotonous and stressful that they often exhibit signs of self-mutilation and repetitive stereotypical behaviour.”
Gucci stopped using fur in its spring-summer 2018 collection and British luxury label Burberry pronounced it would stop using real fur in its products too, along with phasing out existing fur items.
Activists have only increased their efforts over the last year, hence the announcement from Prada today comes as a long-awaited triumph. From next year, the spring-summer 2020 women’s collection will not contain any fur – this includes brands Miu Miu, Church’s and Car Shoe.
In praise of the announcement, PJ Smith, director of fashion policy at the Humane Society of the United States said: “One of the biggest names in fashion just became a leader in animal welfare and innovation for generations to come.”
Words: Maeve Campbell