John Galliano - a man never to shy away from controversy, has recently spoken out one of the most controversial topics in fashion; the use of fur. Joining the likes of Gucci, Michael Kors and Versace, Galliano has vowed to stop using fur products as creative director of Maison Margiela. “Today we don’t want a product, we want ethics, a firm that defends the values that we admire,” he explained.
Speaking of a chance meeting with PETA vice president, Dan Matthews, Galliano told French Elle “One summer, I was swimming in the sea with Penélope Cruz in Saint-Tropez,” [very FASH-UN!] “And just then, Dan’s face popped out of the water. It was like in Jaws, very frightening!”
Galliano states it was this chance meeting that finalised his decision to ditch the controversial material. He further added that fur is no longer associated with a status of wealth and luxury, that it was once synonymous with. The man who once championed fur during his time at Christian Dior added that Matthews had recently sent him samples of cork, which in his words “Is fantastic for making bags!”
It is this growing appetite for alternative materials and faux fur has seen brands like Shrimps (founded in 2013) excel in the fashion stakes. In line with multiple countries passing anti-fur legislation and the rise in ethical brands, such as Shrimps, there has been a welcomed increase in availability and sustainability of cruelty free products. With companies currently working on lab-grown fur and leather, the use of real animal materials may soon become completely obsolete.
Brigit Oele, from fur-free retailer program (a program aiming at linking fur-free influencers and brands) recently summed up the anti-fur shift: “There is an ongoing worldwide shift towards responsible and sustainable consumerism, that fashion companies are well aware of. Brands that value transparency and innovation are realising that fur production – and the inevitable cruelty associated with fur – does not fit into that picture. The future of fashion inevitably is fur-free.”
With that said the long awaited transition to anti-fur appears to be one fashion trend that isn’t going to go out of fashion.
Words / JOANNE M KENNEDY