WWD reports that California is the first US state to officially ban the sale of fur. A related law was passed in 2019 and came into effect earlier this year.
The law applies to physical stores in California and online sales of fur products in California. Selling second-hand fur products and leather is still allowed.
Local activists started launching bans in the state as early as 2011. As a result, West Hollywood’s first anti-fur ordinance went into effect in 2013. A few years later, followed by Berkeley, San Francisco and Los Angeles, WWD looks back.
As these new laws went into effect in California and elsewhere, major department stores such as Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus have banned and closed fur sales or announced they will soon close their fur salons in the United States.
Macy’s and its subsidiary Bloomingdale’s finally closed their fur salons in early 2021, and Saks Fifth Avenue ended fur sales in March 2022.
In announcing the 2020 ban, Macy’s said it wanted to keep up with new production methods and consumer trends. “With new fabric technology, alternatives like faux fur and other fabric innovations, this creates a seamless transition for our customers,” Macy’s said in a statement at the time, according to WWD.
Many luxury brands and groups have stopped using fur in recent years, including Kering, Dolce & Gabbana, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Burberry, Canada Goose, Zegna Group and Moncler.
Despite California’s mild climate, fur has historically been a big seller in the state, according to WWD. Until recent years, the region was the country’s largest exporter of fur. New York was second.
What about fur in the Netherlands and Belgium?
There is still no question of a complete ban on the sale of fur in the Netherlands and Belgium. The Netherlands already has a ban on fur farms. The ban was not supposed to come into force until 2024, but when it became clear that large outbreaks were taking place at breeding farms during the coronavirus pandemic, they were closed early. In Belgium, fur farms will end in 2023.
When it comes to banning the sale of fur, the animal rights organization Four Paws Netherlands believes in a particularly European-wide ban on the sale of fur, explains general director Petra Sleven. “If fur is banned in the Netherlands but still available in Germany or Belgium, that’s a good step, but you’re not really making an impact.”
There is currently a petition on the matter set up by the Eurogroup for Animals in all European countries, in which Four Paws, a member of the Eurogroup for Animals, is participating. If one million signatures are received for this, the EU is obliged to put the matter on the agenda.
Although one million signatures have already been collected, Sleven is encouraging people to still sign the petition, which runs until May 1. The signatures have not yet been verified, so there is a risk that the number will drop, and the more signatures, the stronger the message.
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