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London Fashion Week: How Fur Became Faux pas

Fur clear-out: Actress Anjelica Huston cuts her Lynx fur coat which she donated to Peta (People Against the Ethical Treatment of Animals) in Los Angeles, California on 30 January, 2018

Fur and green issues will once again be hot topics at London Fashion Week’s autumn catwalk shows. Burberry was picketed by anti-fur activists from Peta at its February catwalk show while Canada Goose on Regent Street continues to attract the ire of animal rights activists, but organisers, British Fashion Council (BFC) have declared the spring/summer 2019 shows will be the first fur-free event.

According to a survey it conducted with all designers on the official catwalk and presentation schedule, no animal fur will be used. BFC says it encourages designers “to make ethical choices when it comes to their selection of materials and supply chain”.


The BFC survey results reflect a growing cultural shift in attitudes with global fashion houses and independent labels eschewing the use of animal fur and other by-products like leather. Stella McCartney whose HQ is based in west London has led the vanguard of the ethical designer labels and does not use fur or leather in its label’s products.

Eco fashion pioneer: Livia Firth, wife of actor Colin Firth, arrives at the 2013 Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscar Party in West Hollywood, California, 24  February, 2013

Livia Firth, actor Colin Firth’s wife, who founded Hammersmith-based Eco-Age, a sustainability consultancy works with major brands like Chopard and champions the use of ethically-sourced materials in the production of diamonds. She also created the Green Carpet challenge, a radical take on the red carpet at the Oscars where film stars wear sustainably manufactured garments.


Cruelty protest: Miss UK and Peta supporter Brooke Johnston protests nearby to where a London Fashion Week party is being hosted by Wintour at Luciano’s in central London, February 17, 2006

Burberry also recently announced  it will cease destruction of unsaleable goods, proving the brand’s commitment to help tackle the causes of waste as part of its five-year Responsibility Agenda.

In June 2018, the BFC moved to a digital registration system at London Fashion Week Men’s and for future London Fashion Week events by introducing digital passes, reducing paper and plastic waste from all future events.

But will Anna Wintour break the habit of a lifetime?

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