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london fashion week is going fur-free

The BFC has announced that there’ll be no fur at London Fashion Week September 2018.

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Sep 7 2018, 11:33am
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Though the fashion industry has a long way to go before it solves its vast sustainability problem, there’s certainly change afoot. Following Burberry’s announcement that the brand will no longer use fur or destroy all of its unsold goods, the British Fashion Council has announced that this coming London Fashion Week will be entirely fur-free. It’s the first major fashion week to do so. Smaller fashion weeks hosted in Oslo, Perth and Helsinki have already banned the use of fur, the latter going as far as to ban leather.

The decision came after the BFC conducted a survey with all of London’s on-schedule designers asking if they would be using fur in their collections. In a statement they said, “As representatives of the British fashion industry, the BFC supports the creativity of designers and keeps an open dialogue with the industry, from designers to media, retailers, business leaders, government and global brands while encouraging designers to make ethical choices when it comes to their selection of materials and supply chain.” The survey is part of a wider initiative by the BFC to try and create positive change within the fashion industry, with regards to sustainability, equality, diversity, craftsmanship and community.

London Fashion Week, though less and less dependent on the once popular material, has been increasingly dogged by anti-fur protesters (though many of them have targeted the wrong shows). In the last few seasons a number of high-profile designers across all the fashion capitals have vowed to no longer use fur in their collections, from Maison Margiela to Tom Ford, and even the gatekeepers of Italian glamour, Gucci and Versace. What remains to be seen is whether this no-fur policy will extend to autumn/winter 19 collections shown next year, rather than just spring/summer -- arguably the two seasons in which fur is much less popular.

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For Hannah Weiland, of Shrimps, it comes as no surprise. "London as a city is very innovative and a leader in important issues such as this. Hopefully all countries will follow suit." Shrimps launched in 2013, and has been instrumental in changing people's perceptions of faux fur. "Shrimps launched as and still is an animal friendly brand, so working with real fur was never an option. A faux fur coat was the first Shrimps piece I designed, it will always be a material that is at the heart of the brand. Faux fur is luxurious and cruelty-free, and I'm so happy other big brands are adopting it."

It's great news for Stella McCartney as well, who shows in Paris, but is based in London. “There is a reason I have my headquarters in London, I was born here and to hear about the fur free fashion week decision fills me with a hope that fashion can be cruelty-free one day and reminds me that the city of London is still punk rock and has its finger on the future of fashion! This is what the next generation demand and London has heard it loud and clear! So proud to be a Londoner!"

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