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The $500 Million Fur Industry Could Come Crumbling Down

Fur Industry

Fur is everywhere--from clothing, handbags, hats and footwear to a variety of household goods--and despite the long-running anti-fur campaign, sales managed to hit over $530 million last year, reaching a 17-year high.  But California might have just killed the industry and one major retailer is already planning to ditch fur entirely. 

California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed Assembly Bill 44 into law, banning the sale and manufacturing of fur products state-wide. The prohibition applies to clothing, handbags, footwear, hats, or any accessories, such as key chains, that contain fur. It’s a dangerous precedent for manufacturers and retailers, as the first ever statewide ban in the U.S. 

The law goes into effect on January 2023, giving the entire industry three years to adjust. 

Macy’s Inc., one of America’s biggest retail chains, is the first to jump on board, vowing to end all fur sales by fiscal year-end 2020. That includes all furs ales at Bloomingdale’s as well, and discount outlets.  

The Great Furry Divide

For animal rights organizations and defenders these developments of course represent a major victory. (If we could just get people to stop eating meat, too, because otherwise it only makes partial sense). 

“California’s groundbreaking new law sounds the death knell for the sickeningly cruel fur industry and marks a major victory for animals, people, and the environment,” People magazine quoted Fleur Dawes, Communications Director for In Defense of Animals, as saying.  

A line-up of celebrities have also jumped on the anti-fur bandwagon, as has a list of retailed announcing phaseouts. They include everyone from Chanel, Gucci and Burberry to Paul McCartnety and Miley Cyrus. 

But opponents say they fear the potential black market in this case. They also fear the slippery slope that could easily lead to other bans (except, apparently, for guns).

Some say it’s a vegan conspiracy: “a radical vegan agenda using fur as the first step to other bans on what we wear and eat.” 

The industry is on board with this theory.   

Related: NYU Professor: Tesla Could Lose 80% Of Its Value

“Governor Newsom has now made California the first state in the nation to abolish a centuries-old, lawful, highly regulated, job-producing, environmentally sound, tax-paying industry,” the Fur Council of America, an industry trade group, told reporters. 

Plenty of America’s biggest fashion designers are still using and planning to use fur, though.  

And their products find a place in some of the most exclusive department stores, with exclusive prices. For example, Bergdorf Goodman fur coats costs $24,900. And other big names still riding high on the fur industry include Valentino, Louis Vuitton and Yves Saint Laurent. 

Opponents to the California ban put it this way: Whether you want to wear fur or not is your choice, and shouldn’t be political. If you oppose fur, then keep it out of your closet and home goods. That’s the way the protest. 

Ban or not, Californian legislation may prove to be irrelevant in the edge. Today is increasingly about faux fur, and some of the biggest celebrities are promoting it. 

Charlize Theron just walked out in the luxury version of faux fur from Dior’s Fall 2019 collection, and Vogue magazine notes that “faux just looks better than ever before: more and more, designers are finding striking new ways to make fake fur coats a real wardrobe standout”.  

By Fred Dunkley for Safehaven.com

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