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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

Fur-free designers rule the ramp at London Fashion Week 

The event, which starts on September 14, will be completely fur-free for the first time in its 35-year history 

Fur-clad models on the Burberry autumn/winter 2017 runway at London Fashion Week in February 2017. The brand has since announced it will stop using animal fur. AFP
Fur-clad models on the Burberry autumn/winter 2017 runway at London Fashion Week in February 2017. The brand has since announced it will stop using animal fur. AFP

Representing the epitome of high British fashion, Burberry declared on September 6 that it would abolish the use of animal fur in all future collections. The house joins the likes of long-time ethical labels such as Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood, brands that have recently denounced fur, such as Gucci and Versace, as well as every single designer participating at London Fashion Week this year: from Anya Hindmarch, Aspinal of London and Erdem, to Peter Pilotto, Roksanda and Victoria Beckham.

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2015 file photo, a model wears footwear with wisps of fur as part of the Gucci women's Fall-Winter 2015-2016 collection, in Milan, Italy. Gucci has become the latest fashion house to eliminate animal fur from its collections, starting with the spring-summer 2018 season. The Humane Society, which supports the fur free alliance among fashion houses, said Gucci’s announcement Wednesday was a ‘’game-changer,’’ involving ‘’perhaps the biggest fur-free retailer announcement worldwide to date.’’ Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri said the brand would no longer ‘’use, promote or publicize animal fur,’’ beginning with the menswear collection to be previewed in January and womenswear in February. Gucci said it would auction off the remaining fur animal items, with proceeds to benefit LAV and the Humane Society. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni, File)
Gucci footwear with wisps of fur before the brand went fur-free. AP

As none of the brands have even a hint of fur in their spring/summer 2019 collections - a deliberate decision, according to a survey carried out by the British Fashion Council - London Fashion Week has been declared a bona fide fur-free event, a first among the major fashion weeks.

The decision seems to have stemmed from protests by animal-rights activists and increasingly ethical consumers alike; the number of anti-fur protesters at the London event rose from 25 in 2016 to 250 in 2017.

FILE - In this Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 file photo, animal rights activists and anti-fur militants stage a protest against its use before the Burberry fashion show at London Fashion Week. The British luxury fashion brand Burberry said Thursday Sept. 6, 2018, it will stop using real fur in its products. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP, File)
Animal-rights activists stage a protest at London Fashion Week in 2017. AP

The BFC survey was introduced to make designers more aware of issues such as sustainability, community well-being, equality and craftsmanship. The anti-fur outcome demonstrates that key fashion players are now keen to make the right choices, if only one step at a time, even earning a rare tweet of praise from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta).

But it remains to be seen if all these designers seek out fur alternatives even when their autumn/winter collections come around, but here's hoping.

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