MUNICH—Luxury German online fashion retailer Mytheresa has announced it is going fur-free. The platform of more than 200 international designers will be phasing out existing fur inventory by the end of 2022. The ban will cover fur from factory-farmed animals such as mink, fox, chinchilla, muskrat, rabbit, raccoon dog, sable and karakul lamb, as well as fur from wild animals such as coyote and beaver.
The compassionate stance follows the retailer’s decision to ban exotic skins from species including but not limited to python, lizard, alligator, crocodile, ostrich, shark, kangaroo and stingray, since Spring/Summer this year. The pledge has been welcomed by the Germany director for Humane Society International, part of the Humane Society family of organisations, which helped negotiate the fur-free pledge with Mytheresa.
Michael Kliger, CEO of Mytheresa, said: “At Mytheresa, we believe that sustainability is an important part of our future strategy and this view is clearly shared by our customers, partners and employees. As we already stopped buying Exotic Skins in Spring/Summer 2021, it was clear that going fur-free is the natural next step for Mytheresa. We are proud to be making this change and thank the Humane Society of the United States, Four Paws and the Fur Free Alliance for supporting this policy.”
Mytheresa developed its animal welfare policy in collaboration with the Humane Society of the United States, and in accordance with the guidelines of the Fur Free Retailer program. The program is supported by the Fur Free Alliance, an international coalition of more than 50 leading animal welfare and environmental protection organisations. The retailer states that its new policy is in line with the changing needs and ethical choices of its customers, and that it will rely on innovation to continuously seek more sustainable alternatives.
Sylvie Kremerskothen Gleason, Germany director for Humane Society International/Europe, welcomed the pledge and said it’s time for Germany to also ban the sale of cruel fur: “We welcome Mytheresa’s compassionate pledge to go fur-free. This pledge reflects the ethical concerns and demands of consumers and puts the company shoulder to shoulder with some of the most respected names in luxury and designer fashion, such as HUGO BOSS, Canada Goose, Oscar de la Renta, Gucci, Prada, Chanel and Versace, in rejecting fur. We now need the German government to strongly advocate for a Europe-wide ban on fur production and to take appropriate action.”
Despite fur farming bans in many European Union countries, the EU still breeds and kills almost 38 million animals a year on fur farms, which causes immense animal suffering and poses a high public health risk, as many COVID-19 cases in fur farms across Europe have proven.
PJ Smith, director of fashion policy for the Humane Society of the United States, said: “We applaud Mytheresa for its decision to stop selling fur and exotic skins. Animal welfare policies like Mytheresa’s will help drive the demand for innovative materials that are better for animals and the planet and should be part of every company’s environmental, social and corporate governance strategy.”
Humane Society International is dedicated to working with all apparel companies to adopt fur-free policies because they have the capacity to save hundreds of thousands—perhaps millions—of animals from cruelty. HSI’s fur farm investigations show the unbearable existence that animals endure on fur farms before being brutally killed.
- More than 100 million animals are killed for their fur every year worldwide including mink, foxes, raccoon dogs, chinchillas and rabbits – that’s equal to three animals dying every second, just for their fur.
- Germany introduced new animal welfare legislation in 2017, with a five-year transition period, that required stricter standards on fur farms such as increased cages sizes and swimming basins for mink. The new regulations meant that fur farming was no longer deemed profitable and this led to the closure of the last remaining mink farm in 2019, before the new measures came into force. Up to this day, the German government has not introduced an official fur production ban.
- Mink on more than 420 mink fur farms across 12 countries (including 10 EU member states) have been found infected with COVID-19, leading to mass culls. The potential for zoonotic disease spread, and for mink fur farms in particular to act as reservoirs for coronaviruses, incubating pathogens transmissible to humans, is another compelling reason for governments around the world to call time on fur, by banning farming and sales. Download HSI’s white paper on fur farms and pandemic risks.
- Fur farming has been banned and/or is in the process of being phased-out in numerous European nations such as Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United Kingdom. In late 2020 the government in Hungary declared a ban on the fur farming of animals including mink and foxes, and in June this year Ireland confirmed it is preparing legislation to end the practice. France, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Montenegro, Poland and Ukraine are considering fur farming bans.
- Earlier this year Israel became the first country in the world to ban the sale of fur. In the United States, California became the first US state to ban fur sales in 2019 following similar bans in cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley and West Hollywood. The towns of Weston and Wellesley in Massachusetts and the city of Ann Arbor in Michigan have also recently banned fur sales, and more US cities and states are looking to follow suit in the future. In the United Kingdom, the government is also considering a fur sales ban and recently held a public consultation which received 30,000 responses.
Mytheresa’s statement on fur can be found in detail here.
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