Oct 11, 2017
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Gucci to go fur-free from 2018 says CEO at LCF talk

Oct 11, 2017

Gucci is going fur-free from 2018. That was the bombshell news delivered by CEO Marco Bizzarri at the annual Kering Talk at the London College of Fashion on Wednesday evening.

Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri talking in London on Wednesday

He didn’t go into much detail but made a firm commitment that saw the room erupting into applause. 

The news follows fur-free pledges from a number of brands and retailers recently with Armani, Hugo Boss and Yoox-Net-A-Porter all having axed fur products from their offer. It’s not known if other Kering-owned brands will also take the fur-free trail, although Stella McCartney has long been both fur and leather-free.

Gucci has become part of the Fur-free Alliance and has also been working on the move with the Humane Society of the US (HSUS) and the Italian-based animal welfare group LAV. The new policy starts with its spring/summer 2018 collection shown recently at Milan Fashion Week.

“Being socially responsible is one of Gucci’s core values, and we will continue to strive to do better for the environment and animals,” Bizzarri said.

He also said that in selecting Alessandro Michele for the top creative role nearly three years ago, he wanted someone  who "shared a belief in the importance of the same values".

For Gucci this will mean a major change, with the company having been using fur for outerwear, for trimmings and in its footwear. Its fur-free policy now includes mink, coyote, raccoon dog, fox, rabbit, and karakul, as well as all other species bred or caught for fur. Its remaining fur items will be sold at auction with the proceeds going to animal rights groups.

Bizzarri also addressed the issue of animal products in general but it’s clear that the company won’t be axing leather any time soon.

Gucci - Fall-Winter2017 - Womenswear - Milan - © PixelFormula

“You ask me to strip out the leather too, but then I would have to fire thousands of people,” he said, explaining just how important leather is to the Gucci ‘family’ of employees.

However, he did say the company is very interested in ‘in vitro’ leather, or tissue-engineered ‘skins’, that don’t require animals to be reared and then killed to create the materials. He also said use of such materials would be key in boosting sustainability as their impact on the environment would be much less than the current leather supply chain.

Cruelty-free leather is a prospect that’s getting closer to real-world applications with companies such as US-based biotech startup Modern Meadow raising serious funding to turn ‘victimless’ leather into a reality.

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