by Simranjeet Aulakh
When one thinks about high fashion, fur can come to mind. However, in recent years we have come to notice a growing decline in the usage of fur for fashion with many luxury brands gaining ethical awareness, which organisations such as PETA have been loyal advocates for.
Contextually, humans first began wearing clothing made out of animal fur over a hundred thousand years ago. Ever since then, fur has become an emblem of affluence and luxury in the fashion world, dominating the industry from collections to runways from almost every prominent fashion brand.
The current stigmatisation of wearing fur came to an apex during the recent activism at London Fashion Week. Now, Parliament has expressed desire to implement a UK-wide fur trade ban. The proposed ban has possibly accounted for Burberry wanting to stop incorporating fur in their clothes, consequently joining the likes of other major fashion brands such as Gucci, Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo. With this being said, Burberry chose not to exhibit any real fur during their London Fashion Week shows, opting for faux fur instead. In this regard, London, famously known as being one of the major fashion capitals of the world, has become pivotally involved in the war against wearing fur. Just last month, attendees of London Fashion Week received an official email from the British Fashion Council, specifying that they should avoid wearing fur out of fear it would act as a catalyst for the anti-fur protestors who would be protesting outside the event.
This goes without saying that the world of fashion has been rocked hard by the power of activism in society today, leaving fashion’s most credited events and organisations almost feeling obligated to cater towards the rebellion.
One individual who will be pleased about the supposed ban will be future royal Meghan Markle. Recent rumours have suggested that Markle’s well known disapproval of fur enabled Burberry to reconsider their fur use. In this case, Burberry are infamous for being associated with the royal family, in other words as being their go-to fashion brand.
The Humane Society’s executive director, Claire Bass, who has credited Prince Harry’s soon-to-be wife, has implied that her ethical principles and newfound royal status provided Burberry with the push they needed to join their fellow anti-fur brands. So, if Burberry doesn’t stick to their recently declared no-fur policy, could the brand’s relationship to the royals reach its end when Markle officially joins the family? We will have to wait and see.
Even though many have already decided to implement a ban on using fur in their brands themselves, one cannot help but ponder the fate of fashion, not only in London alone but for the rest of the UK. If the UKwide fur trade ban is passed, just how will fashion change in Britain and what will be the reaction of those who are in contempt with this decision, or in more applicable terms – ‘pro-fur’?
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