The US fashion house Michael Kors has announced that it will no longer use fur in its collections. Production of current designs using fur, such as coyote and rabbit, will be phased out by the end of 2018, the brand has confirmed.
This new model will also apply to the luxury footwear brand Jimmy Choo, which was acquired by Michael Kors Holdings this year.
“Due to technological advances in fabrications, we now have the ability to create a luxe aesthetic using non-animal fur,” said the brand’s eponymous designer, referring to alternative materials that look and feel like leather and animal fur but are made from synthetic fibres. “We will showcase these new techniques in our upcoming runway show in February.”
The news comes six months after Kors was heckled by anti-fur protesters as he gave a speech on stage at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Several protesters got on to the stage and encircled the designer, making sounds of animals being tortured and shouting at him for using fur.
His brand’s history of using fur stretches back a long way, and has provoked frequent demonstrations from protest groups, from holding placards outside his fashion shows to storming his New York shops.
Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals ) issued a statement welcoming the news. “This is a wonderful holiday gift for fur-bearing animals,” said the organisation’s senior vice-president, Dan Mathews. “We’re pleased that the company is evolving away from using fur and look forward to working with it on other issues in the future.”
The fashion house follows in the footsteps of Gucci, which announced in October that it was becoming a part of the Fur Free Alliance, an international group of more than 40 organisations that campaigns on animal welfare and promotes alternatives to fur in the fashion industry.
Stella McCartney, which like Gucci is owned by the Kering group, has been one of the most high-profile advocates of fur-free fashion, having committed to never use animal products in her collections since she set up her brand, and instead to invest in the kind of technological fabric innovations that Michael Kors now looks to employ.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010