Italian fashion house Prada has pledged to completely eliminate fur from all of its lines starting this fall with the spring/summer 2020 line. The company has, in the past, utilized fur in many of its designs. The company has partnered with an organization called Fur Free Alliance to diminish the use of animal furs in high fashion, instead opting for faux fur alternatives and encouraging shoppers to make the transition from real to faux fur as well. The Fur Free Alliance is a coalition of international animal protection organizations that work together to fight animal cruelty. There are more than 40 organizations that make up the Fur Free Alliance, including the Humane Society International.
Prada’s Decision Impacts More Than Just The Prada Brand
While the Prada name may be synonymous with the infamous Italian fashion house, the Prada Group extends further than just that brand. Miucca Prada, the creative director of the group, which includes brands like Miu Miu, as well as the lesser known Church’s, Car Shoe, and Pasticceria Marchesi. In a statement that was released on May 22, Miucca Prada discussed what going fur free meant to the Prada Group.
“The Prada Group is committed to innovation and social responsibility, and our fur-free policy – reached following a positive dialogue with the Fur Free Alliance, in particular with LAV and the Humane Society of the United States – is an extension of that engagement,” he said. “Focusing on innovative materials will allow the company to explore new boundaries of creative design while meeting the demand for ethical products,” said Miucca Prada in a press release on the companies website.
Animal rights activists are pleased to hear that yet another luxury fashion house has committed to going fur-free as soon as possible. Other brands like Gucci, Chanel, Versace, and Burberry are among a few of the other major fashion houses to remove fur from their upcoming lines. The initiative to stop using fur in high fashion has slowed in recent months, so the Fur Free Alliance hopes that a commitment from a brand as big as Prada will inspire other companies to take the pledge as well.
While the decision has earned The Prada Group a round of applause from the various companies and organizations that make up the Fur Free Alliance, not all think the initiative to remove fur from new lines is enough. Organizations like PETA, which have long protested the use of fur in luxury fashion, are calling on the company to commit to stop using other pelts, leathers, and skins in its products in addition to fur. Things like alligator and snake skins, as well as other leathers are among the list of things PETA wants to see The Prada Group stop using in the future.
Other activists are wary of jumping on the vegan leather train, though, arguing that adding more plastic to the world is almost worse than using real leather in high-end goods and fashion. This 2019 article from The Cut points out that vegan leather is made from plastics, adding to the ever-growing sustainability and waste issue present in today’s fast fashion industry. That, coupled with the fact that vegan leather is cheaper and easier to mass produce than real leather, and you’ve got an entirely new problem on your hands. The solution? If you don’t like leathers and skins, don’t buy clothes that feature them. If you must have furs, opt for the eco-friendly option: steal them from your dead grandmother.