Kering has placed a company-wide ban on the use of fur in all its labels, as a move to be more sustainable in the luxury industry.
Kering’s ban on fur is not out of place as there has been a broader shift in the luxury sector as a whole, which has seen a growing number of brands go fur-free in recent years. Decreased demand, vocal protests from animal rights activists, and government bans have been strong contributing factors.
In fact, many of Kering’s own brands had already gone fur-free prior to this new announcement. In addition to Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, and Balenciaga have all made the jump — Saint Laurent and Brioni were the only brands left to make the change. Similarly, other luxury brands in the industry have also gone fur-free, such as Versace, Chanel, Prada, and Burberry.
Kering’s move comes as it seeks to establish itself as a leader in spearheading a more sustainable fashion industry. While fur has been historically linked to affluence, CEO François-Henri Pinault is hoping that the move to ban fur across the board will change the perception of luxury in the future.
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By removing fur from its list of materials, Kering is holding its brands to higher ethical responsibilities and environmentally responsible business practices that will be more appealing to a value-conscious consumer base.
In a statement to Business of Fashion, he explains: “Going fur-free gives a good signal that things are removing seriously in this industry in different ways to sustainability. Through this lens, some materials have no place in luxury.”
When Gucci had stopped the use of the material, fur products had accounted for roughly US$11.7 million in sales, which translates to less than 0.2 per cent of its overall revenue.
Kering acknowledges it will lose certain customers with this new move, however, it recognises that in order to attract a younger customer base, the group will need to adapt.
“Young consumers and young millennials also expect now that companies pay attention to these values,” said Kering sustainability chief Marie-Claire Daveu, pointing to increasing evidence of the global climate crisis as a driver for action.
“Look at what happened this summer; how can you say I don’t care? And if you have the power, how can you say it’s terrible, but I won’t act?”
Kering’s major rival, the LVMH group has not made a similar promise as of yet. The group owns brands such as Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Fendi. The latter’s womenswear runway show this week featured several notable full-fur looks.
Elsewhere, Kering-owned brand Bottega Veneta recently unveiled its campaign images for Salon 02, their Fall 2021 collection. A runway show for the collection was held in Berlin’s Berghain nightclub earlier this year to a select group of editors and celebrities, however, no pictures were allowed to be taken — leaving fans in suspense. The newly released stills of the show were photographed by Tyrone Lebon and features models such as Freja Beha Erichsen, Dede Mansro, Fernando Cabral, Takahiro Oda, and Yoonmi Sun.
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