London Fashion Week (LFW) will be the first event of its kind to go fur free. The British Fashion Council just announced that all of the designers at the event this month are excluding animal fur in their clothing lines. The move is a response to the criticism LFW has received over the past two years from activists.
More than 250 protesters appeared at LFW last year, a big increase from the 25 that showed up in 2016. With more people boycotting brands that use real fur, companies are starting to switch over to non-fur materials. Caroline Rush of the British Fashion Council said the move to go fur free corresponds to a growing trend in the country.
One major company that plans on eliminating fur from its inventory entirely is Burberry. The British fashion giant recently announced its decision to ditch fur and has initiated a plan to phase out the material over the next few years. Given its popularity in the U.K., the company hopes other fashion business will follow its lead and stop using animal fur.
While it’s great to see that fur will not be a part of LFW this year, the British Fashion Council is not planning on banning it entirely. The head of the organization Stephanie Phair recently explained that the council does “not define or control the creative process of the designers.” Phair added that the U.K. government has not banned fur, and the decision to go fur free is up to individual companies.
That said, the British Fashion Council does encourage companies to research more sustainable and cruelty-free materials for their clothing lines. In addition to Burberry, the number of fashion houses going fur free is growing. This includes Gucci, Versace, Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood and Yoox Net-A-Porter, among others.