Hold onto your fur-lined Gucci loafers (if you're still wearing those): The maximalist, Italian luxury label headed up by Alessandro Michele is the latest company to announce a commitment to going fur-free.
Gucci CEO Marco Bizarri made the announcement during the 2017 Kering Talk at The London College of Fashion on Wednesday, and the Humane Society followed up with a joint press release alongside the fashion brand and the Fur Free Alliance — a coalition of more than 40 animal protection organizations working together to end the fur trade. The brand will cease releasing fur product beginning with its spring 2018 collection and will continue to be supported by the Humane Society of the U.S. and LAV in "identifying and reducing its impact on animals and the environment."
To be clear, the definition of "animal fur" by which Gucci is subscribing means "any animal skin, or part thereof, with hair or fur fibers attached thereto, either in its raw or processed state or the pelt of any animal killed for the animal’s fur." That means mink, fox, rabbit, karakul lamb and raccoon dog are off limits, while lamb, goat and alpaca can still be used.
"Being socially responsible is one of Gucci's core values, and we will continue to strive to do better for the environment and animals," said Bizarri. "With the help of HSUS and LAV, Gucci is excited to take this next step and hopes it will help inspire innovation and raise awareness, changing the luxury fashion industry for the better."
"Gucci's new fur free policy marks a game-changer for the whole luxury fashion industry to follow," added Joh Vinding.
Indeed, it's a pretty big announcement for Gucci, whose creative director has incorporated statement-making, dyed and printed fur pieces into his collections — even for spring and resort — since joining the house in 2015. (Gucci, of course, used fur before that as well.) Right now, no less than eight mink fur coats can be found on the brand's website, and that's to make no mention of the brand's ubiquitous fur-lined loafer mules. The brand landed itself in hot water with PETA over its use of kangaroo fur in the popular shoe style, which has likely been a big moneymaker for the brand. In 2015, not long after the style was introduced, Kering defended its use of kangaroo, issuing a statement to Quartz claiming that it "can be classified under our guidelines as a sustainable fur." While a few loafers are still labeled as kangaroo fur online, a rep for Gucci confirmed that they will all be made with lamb going forward.
According to a separate press release from Gucci, the brand will be auctioning off remaining fur items with proceeds benefitting LAV and the Humane Society.
Gucci is the latest in a string of luxury brands to make commitments to going fur-free: There's fellow Kering-owned label Stella McCartney, as well as Giorgio Armani, Hugo Boss and, on the retail side, Yoox Net-a-Porter Group. We would not be surprised to see fellow members of Kering's portfolio joining them in the near future given the conglomerate's well-publicized commitment to sustainability.