Chanel is the latest fashion giant to swear off fur and exotic animal skins from reptiles. The French brand announced its cruelty-free approach monday after pressure from animal advocates, who have swayed designers, cities, magazines, and fashion shows to ban fur and similar items in recent years.
In a statement, a Chanel spokesperson said the company has turned away from fur and the like for ethical reasons.
“At Chanel, we are continually reviewing our supply chains to ensure they meet our expectations of integrity and traceability,” the official said. “In this context, it is our experience that it is becoming increasingly difficult to source exotic skins which match our ethical standards.”
PETA (People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals) applauded Chanel’s move, arguing that apparel made from animals is unnecessary today, thanks to technological advancements that “have made faux fur and vegan leather nearly indistinguishable from animal pelts and skins.”
A slew of fashion brands have moved away from fur
Fur was once seen as the epitome of glamour, but the movement to sway the public not to wear animal pelts and skins has grown markedly since the 1980s. Karl Lagerfeld, who became Chanel’s creative director in 1983, played a direct role in marketing these products as must-haves for the elite. While working at Fendi, another luxury fashion house, he used the mole, rabbit, and squirrel pelts in his designs, according to CNN.
But today the tide is changing. Since 2016, high-end fashion brands such as Gucci, Burberry, Michael Kors, Tom Ford, DKNY, Furla, Versace and Giorgio Armani have stopped designing fur products or have announced plans to phase out fur. Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, Calvin Klein, and Ralph Lauren are also fur-free, and London Fashion Week made headlines in September by announcing that no fur would be featured in any collection. And this year, cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles decided to ban the sale of fur.