London - Ahead of the official kick off of London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2017-2018 season, a new petition has been launched on Change.org calling on the British Fashion Council (BFC), which host LFW twice a year, to ban all real fur from the fashion event's catwalks for good.
Over 53,333 people have signed the petition since its launch online on Change.org 2 weeks ago. Started by Ed Winters, co-founder of animal-rights organisation Surge, the petition states how the fur industry is responsible for the death of 1 billion rabbits and 50 million other animals, such as foxes, minks, dogs, cats, raccoons, chinchillas, seals and more each year according to the UN. As most of the animals are raised in fur farms, this means they are confined to a life full of misery in too small cages, dirty and unnatural conditions designed to maximise profits. The petition draws attentions to most common methods of killing animals on fur farms as well, which include anal electrocution, gassing, poisoning, or simply breaking the animals neck to preserve the quality of the fur.
Petition calling on LFW to ban fur gains over 50,000 signatures
Although fur farming was banned in the UK in 2000, fur is still sold in the country and shown on its catwalks during London Fashion Week, which caused the petition starter Winters to ask "Why is it that London Fashion Week finds it morally justifiable to still provide a platform for fur and profit off the exploitation of an industry that was outlawed in the UK 17 years ago?" The petition highlights how leading fashion designers such as Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein have banned all fur from their collections and urges London Fashion Week to do the same. In support of the petition, which will be hand delivered to the BFC once it reached 75,00 signatures, a series of protests will held outside of the BFC's showspace during LFW on February 18th and 19th against the fashion industry's continued use of fur and to raise awareness concerning ongoing animal abuse and cruelty within the fur industry.
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FashionUnited reached out to the British Fashion Council for their response to the peition, who responded with the following: "The British Fashion Council does not dictate what designers can or cannot design and has no control over their creative process. We actively encourage designers to look at best practice in their business and if they do chose to use fur then we encourage them to make ethical choices." The support behind the petition continues on from previous London Fashion Week seasons, which have seen numerous protests staged against the fashion industry use of fur, as well as eight young designers penning a public letter to the Central Saint Martins, urging future students not to use fur in their collections. The letter was signed by established faux-fur designer Hannah Weiland, founder of Shrimps, as well as emerging designers Marta Jakubowski, Faustine Steinmetz, Molly Goddard and Vika Gazinskaya.
"We are delighted with how well the petition has been received," said Winters to Metro.co.uk on the public response to the petition. "This just shows that fur is no longer wanted or even deemed acceptable by the public, and only exists within the realms of an out-of-touch fashion industry that, instead of being forward-thinking, is reluctant to move beyond its outdated transgressions." Winters added that the group protested outside of London Fashion Week's main venues in the past, during which many people were shocked to learn that the fur they were wearing was real. "It’s horrible for the people who believe they are making an ethical choice but are actually being lied to, and are inadvertently supporting the very industry they believe their purchase is opposing." Previous investigations carried out by the Humane Society UK and the BBC found an alarming number of high street retailers and online stores selling real fur as faux, or real fur from dogs, cats and raccoons carrying no label at all.
"Of course, if someone really wants to buy a fur coat then they should always buy faux, which is the only ethical choice," added Winters. "But I always ask people to make sure they are well-researched, so they are sure what they are buying is indeed fake."
Photo: Courtesy of HSI