Real fur's been slipping in popularity in the fashion ranks for awhile, but it's only recently that exotic animal leathers have joined them in the decline, as fashion weeks like Stockholm, Melbourne and Helsinki ban them from their runways.
On Tuesday, Nordstrom announced that it was joining the new movement, banning the sale of exotic animal skins (think snakeskin or crocodile leather) or genuine fur. A representative for the company said via email that this new policy will be fully in effect by the end of 2021 and will impact both online and in-store sales, whether at Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack or Last Chance locations. The news was revealed "in partnership with the Humane Society of the United States," per a press release — though, the implication is that Nordstrom is responding to customer demand for change.
"Nordstrom is committed to delivering the best possible service and merchandise for their customers," a rep said via email. "Delivering on that commitment means listening to feedback from customers and continually evolving the product offering to ensure it is meeting their needs."
The retailer joins U.K.-based department store Selfridges, which banned the sale of exotic animal skins starting in February 2020. In recent years, brands like Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, Chanel, Mulberry, Tommy Hilfiger and Victoria Beckham have also pledged to stop selling product that use those materials. Nordstrom's announcement comes at a time when concerns about the illegal wildlife trade are high, since it may be linked to pandemic-created conditions.
"Nordstrom be partnering closely with their vendor partners to phase out this type of merchandise from their offering, identifying alternative materials that meet the needs of their customers and ensuring they are consistently offering products that align with their standards," a representative for the company said.