Joining the likes of Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfinger, and Armani, Gucci announced earlier this month that it will no longer use fur in any of its collections. This is a bold step for the luxury brand and an important one for the ethical fashion movement. When a brand of this caliber decides to cut out fur altogether, it gets people’s attention. GQ’s editor, Madeline Weeks, pointed this out, saying, “I think it’s turning a corner and making a statement. And I definitely think it’s going to catch a lot of people’s attention.”
The fashion world definitely has a hierarchy of brands, and at the top are brands like Fendi, Prada, Chanel, Gucci, Armani and Burberry. So, when a top brand like Gucci makes a significant stride towards being more ethical, the rest of the fashion world takes note and may even follow suit. The brands at the top of the hierarchy have the most influence over the fashion world, including its designers and consumers. They are the brands that decide what’s trendy and what’s not and what’s in and what’s out.
This is why it is so exciting that Gucci will no longer use fur beginning with their Spring/Summer 2018 collection. The more brands, especially world-renown brands like Gucci, that publicly take steps towards being more ethical, the more brands will be influenced to do the same. In an ideal future, ethical brands will be the norm, and unethical ones will be out of demand.
Of course, it would be naïve to think that Gucci just decided to be more ethical one day and stop using furs. The fact is that the brand has people who study consumer trends. In recent years these researchers have seen consumers, especially in the millennial generation, become more conscious about the ethicality of what they wear. In other words, it’s popular to care about animals, the environment, human rights, etc. Chief executive and president of Gucci, Marco Bizzarri, said, “Do you think using furs today is still modern? I don’t think it’s still modern and that’s the reason we decided not to do that. It’s a little bit out-dated.”
But who can blame Gucci for being motivated by what the consumer wants? They are a business after all. More than anything, it’s actually exciting that Gucci perceived this as important factor to the consumer. This shows that more people are getting on board with the ethical fashion movement and influencing how brands are doing business. The more consumers refuse to buy fur, the less brands will use fur. The more consumers demand garment workers receive fair wages, the more brands will do so. You see where I’m going with this?
What Gucci banning fur really tells us is that as consumers we have the power over the fashion industry. Even the top luxury brands will stop using fur if we say that’s what we want. Next time you make a purchase, whether it’s shoes, a shirt, a jacket, a bag, or something else, remember this quote from author and educator, Anna Lappe: “Every time you spend money you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want to live in.”