Over the past several decades, an increasing number of luxury fashion brands such as Versace and Gucci have transitioned to be fur-free. Just a few days ago, the iconic British brand Burberry declared to go fur-free in its future collections (Vogue). The use of fur as a luxury fabric in the fashion industry has long been criticized thanks to the efforts of animal rights activists. The memo will make a persuasive argument to demonstrate why Dior should also go fur-free in the near future.
According to Vogue Magazine, the British Fashion Council has announced that “London Fashion Week this September will be the first of the major fashion weeks not to show any animal fur” (Vogue). As one of the leading fashion weeks stopped showing fur on stage, the trend in the fashion industry is clear that fur has steadily fallen out of favor with major fashion weeks, and fur will likely start to disappear on the stages of other major fashion weeks such as New York Fashion Week and Milan Fashion Week as well. Most importantly, this phenomenon of fur-free was not the result of a strict policy imposed by the British Fashion Week, but the voluntary choices made the designers and brands. To take a step further, the attitude of the designers and brands reflects the general opinions and preferences of the customers. As a result, it is the customers’ choice to oust the use of fur in the fashion industry. The fashion industry is in the midst of a grand transition from the old-fashioned perception of luxury and elegance with the extensive use of fur to a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly sense of fashion with the utilization of alternative material and fabrics (Vogue). Thus, glamorous fur is the story of the past, and the socially and environmentally sustainable material is the future. This trend is inevitable.
In addition to the rapidly changing trend in the fashion industry, there are millions of animals still suffering in fur farms across the world. According to data gathered by Fur Free Alliance, “Worldwide each year more than 100 million animals are killed on fur farms after short and miserable lives in small wire mesh battery cages, only for fashion” (Fur Free Alliance). In the 21st century, we still need to kill so many animals to satisfy our needs for fashion while we have so many other options for fabric to produce fashionable and comfortable clothes. This shocking fact makes me doubt whether we are living in a hunter-gatherer society which was primitive and savage. Furthermore, the troublesome situation of these poor animals is described as “…infected wounds, missing limbs from biting incidents, eye infections, bent feet, mouth deformities, self-mutilation, cannibalism of dead siblings or offspring and other stress-related stereotypical behaviour” (Fur Free Alliance). These repulsive facts should not belong to a high-civilized society.
Last but not least, I would like to stress the negative environmental and health impact fur farming has on the world. “Environmentally harmful products including chromium and formaldehyde are used in the processing of real fur garments to keep them from rotting” (Fur Free Alliance). During the process, a lot of toxic waste is released into the environment which pollutes the riverways and the soil. Often the negative consequences of this pollution can be long-lasting and unpredictable. Thus, the use of fur is not just an issue concerning the fashion industry, but a social issue that matters to everyone. In addition to that, the toxic chemicals have a direct impact on the fur owners’ health. According to studies, once the toxic chemicals enter the body, it can stay there for more than twenty years which can cause various health problems (Fur Free Alliance). Wearing fur products can create such a potential risk factor in fur owners’ life. The fashion companies should take the initiative to protect customers from the potential harms of their products.
In conclusion, it is evident that the future of fashion will be fur-free. Continuing the use of fur will bring a bad reputation to the brand which in turn will cause economic loss to Dior. Besides the financial loss, it would be extremely cruel and inhumane for Dior to support the fur industry through creating demands for fur. Dior, as the leader in the fashion industry, should set the example to go fur-free so that other designers and brands which are still dubious about fur use would follow the lead and stop using fur. For now, I would suggest Dior to start implementing the use of faux fur and exploring alternative material and fabrics to transition smoothly to become fur-free. It is time to stop mistreatment towards animals; It is time to embrace the trend and the latest social values; It is time to stop using fur in the fashion industry.
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