International animal protection organisation FOUR PAWS has joined the Fur Free Alliance (FFA) for a new campaign urging fashion brand Prada to adopt a fur-free policy. Competitors like Burberry, Gucci, Versace, Armani, Michael Kors, Donna Karan and HUGO BOSS have already set the trend by accepting a forward-thinking attitude towards the use of fur in luxury fashion.
This month, FOUR PAWS and other FFA members have been encouraging supporters worldwide to send a protest e-mail or call Prada urging them to drop fur.
As the Australian representative of the global Fur Free Retailer program, FOUR PAWS Australia is joining the global call asking Prada to become the latest leading brand to join the fur-free fashion movement. With Fashion Week season in September, when all eyes are set on the major fashion houses, it is the ideal time for Prada to make such a commitment.
“We want to draw attention on Prada’s fur policy during an extremely important time in fashion, the four big fashion weeks in New York City, London, Milan and Paris. We’re encouraging Prada to join the frontrunners in the rejection of fur at a time when more and more major brands are choosing to replace animal fur with innovative alternative materials that are free from cruelty,”
Thomas Pietsch, Wild Animal Expert at FOUR PAWS.
The majority of consumers want nothing to do with fur trade, and other major fashion brands have already announced policies renouncing the use of real fur. Countries like Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium are distancing themselves from animal cruelty by banning fur farming. Additionally, major cities from San Francisco to São Paulo have banned the sale of fur and the United Kingdom, which banned fur farming in 2000, are now looking to ban fur sales as well.
“This global trend, which is also evident here in Australia, is a direct response to changing consumer demand. Ethical consumers are shaping trends in many industries, especially in the fashion industry where ‘ethical fashion’ is taking over catwalks, designer labels and moving into the mass market,” says FOUR PAWS Australia Country Director, Jeroen van Kernebeek.
There are many horrific implications of the fur farming industry. On fur farms, animals spend their entire lives in wire mesh cages, deprived of the ability to engage in natural behaviours—only to be killed cruelly and brutally through electrocution, neck breaking or gassing. In the wild, animals are held in traps for days without food or water until trappers come to retrieve them, often gnawing off their own limbs first in a desperate attempt to escape.
Fur production is also environmentally devastating. Fur factory farms and tanneries are extremely harmful to our soil and waterways—pumping waste and toxic chemicals into the surrounding environment. The traps responsible for killing wild animals often maim and kill non-target animals, including endangered species and even family pets. All told, the fur industry is an environmental nightmare.
“With 30 years’ experience of leading progressive change for animals in fashion, FOUR PAWS is encouraging Australian and global brands to show leadership in improving their business practices and promoting how businesses and supply chains can succeed without the use of cruel animal products,”
Jeroen van Kernebeek, FOUR PAWS Australia Country Director
FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them.
Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler and friends, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. FOUR PAWS’ sustainable campaigns and projects focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, animals in fashion, farm animals, and wild animals – such as bears, big cats, orangutans and elephants – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones.
With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in 12 countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. www.four-paws.org.au