French fashion group Kering to go completely fur free

Owner of Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent and Gucci will stop using animal fur in any of its collections from autumn 2022

A model wears a Saint Laurent creation at its 2018/2019 autumn/winter presentation. The brand's parent company Kering has announced that it is going fu-free. AFP
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French fashion conglomerate Kering has announced that it is going completely fur-free.

Starting with their autumn 2022 collections, all of the brands under the Kering umbrella will stop using animal fur of any kind. Coming from one of the largest luxury companies in the world, Kering’s decision marks a turning of the tide, and is a mark of how consumer demand for sustainable clothing and accessories is burgeoning.

The world has changed, along with our clients, and luxury naturally needs to adapt to that
François-Henri Pinault, chief executive, Kering

“For many years, Kering has sought to take the lead in sustainability, guided by a vision of luxury that is inseparable from the very highest environmental and social values and standards,” says Francois-Henri Pinault, chief executive of Kering.

“When it comes to animal welfare, our group has always demonstrated its willingness to improve practices within its own supply chain and the luxury sector in general. The time has now come to take a further step forward by ending the use of fur in all our collections. The world has changed, along with our clients, and luxury naturally needs to adapt to that.”

The first brand in the Kering stable to eschew fur was Gucci, with the brand’s president and chief executive Marco Bizzarri announcing in 2017 that it would stop using fur and would auction off its existing fur stock, giving the proceeds to animal welfare groups. “Thanks to a long term partnership with LAV and The Humane Society, Gucci joins the Fur Free Alliance, which focuses on the deprivation and cruelty suffered by fur-bearing animals both in wild trapping and industrial fur farming,” he said.

A number of other Kering brands have since followed suit, with Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, Brioni and Saint Laurent progressively removing animal pelts from their collections.

In 2019, Kering formalised and published a set of animal welfare standards that will continue to be applied, as they concern other animal fibres and materials.

Although fur coats have become increasingly scarce on the runway in recent years, some luxury brands do continue to use the material for accessories, such as handbags, or as a decorative feature on clothing.

The Humane Society welcomed Kering’s decision and urged other fashion houses to take note. “The announcement is a significant blow to the declining fur trade and puts pressure on the few remaining fashion brands that continue to sell fur to follow suit,” the organisation said.

Updated: September 25, 2021, 11:19 AM