No more fur for Gucci

The Italian fashion house, which has produced fur-lined loafers and luxurious mink coats in the past, will drop the contentious material starting from its spring/summer 2018 collection

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2015 file photo, a model wears footwear with wisps of fur as part of the Gucci women's Fall-Winter 2015-2016 collection, in Milan, Italy. Gucci has become the latest fashion house to eliminate animal fur from its collections, starting with the spring-summer 2018 season. The Humane Society, which supports the fur free alliance among fashion houses, said Gucci��������s announcement Wednesday was a ���������������game-changer,���������������� involving   ���������������perhaps the biggest fur-free retailer announcement worldwide to date.���������������� Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri  said the brand would no longer ���������������use, promote or publicize animal fur,���������������� beginning with the menswear collection to be previewed in January and womenswear in February. Gucci said it would auction off the remaining fur animal items, with proceeds to benefit LAV and the Humane Society. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni, File)

Italian label Gucci will stop using fur in its designs from 2018, joining a growing number of fashion houses looking at alternatives amid pressure from animal-rights activists and changing consumer tastes.

Gucci, part of Paris-based luxury conglomerate Kering , has seen its sales rise over the past two years under creative director Alessandro Michele.

Marco Bizzarri, Gucci's chief executive, said the brand would drop fur starting from its spring and summer 2018 collection, adding that the decision had been taken alongside Michele.

"In selecting a new creative director, I wanted to find someone who shared a belief in the importance of the same values," Bizzarri said.

Gucci's designer Alessandro Michele arrives at the "Green carpet Fashion Awards" event during the Milan Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, September 24, 2017. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

Gucci, which has produced fur-lined loafers and luxurious mink coats in the past, is the latest major retailer to stop using fur.

In June, Yoox Net-A-Porter, a multi-brand online luxury retailer, adopted a fur-free policy on accessories and clothing sold on the site.

Anti-fur protesters have been known to demonstrate outside catwalk shows at fashion weeks around the world to call for an end to practices that many see as cruel to animals, and luxury-goods buyers have become more sensitive to environmental issues, too.

Many top-end labels are tightening their policies on how leather is sourced from tanneries and how they obtain furs, after a series of scandals over how animals are treated in breeding farms.

Animal-rights campaigners welcomed the move from Gucci, saying it could have a knock-on effect.

"Gucci's decision will radically change the future of fashion," said Simone Pavesi, manager of animal-free fashion at Italian campaign group LAV. "As fashion becomes more and more ethical, supply chains that revolve around animals will be a thing of the past."

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