Gucci may have sent a $19,000 statement powder pink fur coat down the runway for Fall/Winter 2016 and a $41,000 snake-embroidered one for Resort, but those days are gone, according to the brand’s CEO Marco Bizzarri, who was on hand at the 2017 Kering Talk at the London College of Fashion. On Wednesday, Bizzarri announced that the Italian brand is going fur-free, beginning with creative director Alessandro Michele’s Spring 2018 collection, which went down the runway in Milan last month.
According to a statement from the Italian design house: “Gucci will no longer use, promote or publicize animal fur beginning with its Spring/Summer 2018 collection. As a commitment and thanks to a long term partnership with LAV [an Italian animal rights organization] and The Humane Society, Gucci joins the Fur Free Alliance, which focuses on the deprivation and cruelty suffered by fur bearing animals both in wild trapping and industrial fur farming.”
As for the fur items still available for sale on Gucci’s website, the brand says it “will be organizing a charity auction of remaining animal fur items with proceeds to benefit LAV and the Humane Society.”
According to the Hollywood Reporter, this move is merely part of an even larger effort by the already sustainably-minded brand: “Gucci’s fur-free decision is part of the company’s new ten-year ‘Culture of Purpose’ sustainability plan, which also includes the house’s commitment to contributing 1 million euro as a founding partner of UNICEF’s Girls’ Empowerment Initiative.”
“Our new ten-year ‘Culture of Purpose’ sustainability plan has three principal focuses: the Environment, Humanity and New Models,” stated Bizzarri, who adds that the plan demonstrates the company’s “absolute commitment to making sustainability an intrinsic part of our business.”
As noted by the Humane Society, Gucci joins many other leading fashion brands and retailers in going fur-free, including Armani, HUGO BOSS, Yoox Net-a-Porter (which shunned fur from its entire platform earlier this year), and Stella McCartney, among others, in swearing off fur.
PJ Smith, senior manager of fashion policy for The Humane Society, said on Wednesday, “Gucci’s decision is a game-changing moment in the fashion industry. We’ll look back at this moment, I predict, and see that this was the turning point when the business world turned away from fur and substituted cruelty-free garments in its place.”