Italy's Gucci bans fur, seeks alternatives
In this Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2015 file photo, a model wears footwear with wisps of fur as part of the Gucci women's Fall-Winter 2015-2016 collection, in Milan, Italy. Gucci has become the latest fashion house to eliminate animal fur from its collections, starting with the spring-summer 2018 season. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni, File)
Italy's Gucci will stop using fur in its designs from next year, joining a growing number of fashion houses looking at alternatives after coming under pressure from animal rights activists and changing consumer tastes.
Gucci, part of Paris-based luxury group Kering, has paraded models down the catwalk in luxurious fur coats in the past and creative director Alessandro Michele brought in loafers and sling-backs lined with kangaroo-fur two years ago.
But the brand said it would now join an alliance of fur-free companies, adding it would sell off remaining accessories and clothing made with animal fur in a charity auction.
Gucci has sold some of its mink fur coats for over $US40,000 ($A51,000).
Marco Bizzarri, Gucci's chief executive, said the brand would drop fur starting from its spring and summer 2018 collection and that its new approach had been agreed on with Michele.
Gucci has enjoyed a revival under Michele, whose flamboyant, colourful designs have fuelled sales over the past two years.
Animal rights campaigners said they hoped the move by the Italian fashion house could have a knock-on effect, although it is far from the first label to stop using fur.
"Gucci's decision will radically change the future of fashion," Simone Pavesi, manager of animal-free fashion at Italian campaign group LAV.
"As fashion becomes more and more ethical, supply chains that revolve around animals will be a thing of the past."
In June, Yoox Net-A-Porter, a multi-brand online luxury retailer, adopted a fur-free policy on accessories and clothing sold on the site.
Italy's Giorgio Armani last year committed to stop using fur, saying technological progress meant there was no longer any justification for cruelty to animals, while US brand Calvin Klein took the plunge in 1994.
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