If you have ever admired high-end fashion but questioned the ethics behind the use of animal fur in inexpensive clothing designs, you are not alone. As it turns out, an increasing number of fashion fans feel this way. Big brands are noticing, too.
After years of debate, the Italian fashion giant, Dolce & Gabbana officially announced breaking away from the use of furs in the company’s clothing line. According to a spokesperson for the brand, the decision was due to a push from executives to lean toward more sustainable fashion production.
Use of Fur Unethical to Animal Rights Activists
Without a doubt, top fashion brands are no strangers to controversy. Over the years, critics of the company’s past use of fur have often cited animals rights concerns. Every year around the world, people unnecessarily kill thousands of animals for the purpose of creating high-end fashion. To animal rights advocates, it is a grave injustice. This is especially true when it comes to animals that may now be facing endangered numbers. As such, animal rights advocates have protested against brands like Dolce & Gabbana for promoting the sale of fur clothing in the past. While these types of protests are not new, they have gained more traction in recent years.
Fur Production Negatively Impacts Climate Change
Although animal welfare is definitely a reason for a lot of the fur use controversy that the fashion industry has faced, it is not the only reason. For example, the environment also matters quite a bit, especially as it relates to climate change. According to scientists, fur production leads to five times the negative climate impact than wool production. This is largely due to animal feed production and manure emissions. Because of the company’s focus on sustainability, maintaining a stable level of ecological balance has now become a priority for Dolce & Gabbana. With this climate science in mind, it only makes sense why the brand has said goodbye to future fur production.
Additional Pressure From Celebrity Voices
In addition to the voices of animal rights groups and climate change scientists, celebrities have also had an opinion on fur use in fashion designs. In September last year, for example, Billie Eilish went to the Met Gala wearing an Oscar de la Renta gown that she only agreed to wear if the company ended the use and sale of fur. As she ended up wearing the gown, the company held up their end of the deal and cut ties with the furs. Keep in mind that one pebble can often cause a ripple effect. With Billie’s bold move to sway the production lines of the fashion industry, you can expect to see more celebrities start speaking up against the use of fur, too. Stay tuned to see how the top lines respond.
Ethical Competition Among Fashion Brands
While the future remains uncertain, there have already been several top fashion brands that have stepped forward alongside Dolce & Gabbana. Because the larger social responsibility to end fur use is something that falls on the shoulders of the entire fashion industry, it is almost as though a type of ethical competition has begun among giants. Other fashion houses that have given up fur so far include Moncler, Mytheresa, Neiman Marcus, Canada Goose, Kering, and Gucci. As more companies step forward, the competition will likely continue to increase. In terms of this type of competition, the outcome is ethical sustainability, so take a moment to consider what the end result might look like. Ideally, it could be a win-win situation for everybody.
With increasing global concern about environmental impact, moving away from fur use in the name of more sustainable practices is a smart move for fashion leaders.