LONDON—Frasers Group, owner of House of Fraser department stores, as well as luxury retail chain Flannels and retail brands including Sports Direct, has announced it has immediately informed its suppliers it will stop purchasing fur products, a move that will take effect on shop shelves this coming season (Autumn/Winter 2023). The commitment was announced by Frasers Group Chief Executive Michael Murray at the company’s annual general meeting on 19 October, and follows discussions with animal protection organisation Humane Society International/UK.
Announcing what it describes as its “long-term commitment” away from fur, the Group will work with HSI/UK to phase out as soon as possible its existing inventory of garments containing fur. It also pledged further updates on progress towards a date from which consumers can be assured Frasers Group’s stores will be free of fur. Frasers Group has over 1,500 stores globally, including fashion retailers such as FLANNELS, House of Fraser, Sports Direct, Cruise and 18 Montrose.
Humane Society International/UK, which worked with Frasers Group bosses to announce the policy, attended the meeting to hear the announcement to shareholders. Claire Bass, HSI/UK’s executive director, said: “We are pleased to have been able to work alongside Frasers Group and applaud it for taking the important decision to stop purchasing fur. By making this commitment to a fur-free future, Frasers Group are showing that it is a company in tune with the vast majority of the British public who believe that animals should not suffer in the name of fashion. Frasers Group’s decision is another critical milestone in the fur-free revolution underway in the UK, and brings us another big step closer to a Fur Free Britain. We look forward to continuing to work with the company to set an end date for its inventory phase out period, to enable consumers to be confident of when Frasers Group will be fully fur-free.”
Frasers Group is the latest in a long line of luxury retailers and international designers that have turned their backs on fur in recent years, including Farfetch, Net-a-Porter, Canada Goose, Burberry, Chanel, Gucci and Prada. The announcement signifies the accelerating decline of the fur trade and adds further pressure to the few remaining fashion brands that continue to sell fur to follow suit.
Answering a question put by Bass at the meeting, Murray commented: “Frasers Group is committed to a future without fur. The Group’s intention is to stop purchasing fur products from its partners starting with orders for the coming season. The business will be issuing letters to all of its suppliers requesting no fur products are supplied to the Group.”
Group Board Chair David Daly thanked HSI/UK at the meeting for its support in helping the company reach this decision.
Humane Society International/UK works to end the fur trade globally and leads the #FurFreeBritain campaign for a UK fur imports and sales ban. National opinion polling carried out in April 2022 revealed that 77% of Britons think the government should ban the import of products, such as fur, where production methods are banned in the UK. More than one million signatures have so far been amassed for the #FurFreeBritain petition calling on the UK to ban the sale of cruel animal fur.
- More than 100 million animals are killed for their fur every year worldwide. The vast majority (around 95%) spend their entire lives confined in small, barren cages unable to act out their most basic behaviours such as running, digging and, in the case of mink, swimming.
- Fur farming has been banned in the UK since 2003, however almost £1 billion of fur has been imported into the country since then, from countries including China, Finland and Poland.
- The UK was the first country in the world to ban fur farming and 18 other European countries have now followed suit, including Ireland, France, Italy and most recently in September 2022, Latvia.
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