8 Companies That Have Gone Fur Free

The industry predicts that fur is coming back this year — revoltingly, Fendi is issuing an all-fur fall collection — but some companies aren’t playing along, and in some cases, haven’t been playing along for a long time. Whether trapped or farmed, fur is an incredibly cruel animal product, and it’s become an emblem of animal cruelty worldwide, the subject of protest by a huge number of animal welfare groups looking for a clear symbol to target. There’s no reason to make clothes with fur, with a huge variety of synthetics available including those with very good insulating values, and a growing number of designers are speaking out about it.

So who’s decided to take the fur-free plunge and get out of the cruelty business?

1) Hugo Boss

This German firm just banned not just fur, but angora and feathers plucked from live geese — and it will be paying a premium for humanely sheared wool, too. It announced the change in an annual sustainability report that specifically discussed its social and ecological obligations, noting that animal welfare is a key component of ethical corporate behavior. Acknowledging that animal welfare is directly tied to the environment is important, as many companies with committed environmental programs still don’t consider animal welfare in their activities. Moreover, as a luxury brand, Hugo Boss is sending the unmistakeable message that it’s possible to produce high-end garments without the use of cruel components.

2) ASOS 

ASOS Marketplace has a strict animal welfare policy, banning fur of all forms from its products and recommending the use of alternatives. The company also has animal welfare standards for down and wool, while banning angora and other rabbit hair products altogether along with leather from wild animals like ostriches. Notably, ASOS states that “it is not acceptable for animals to suffer in the name of fashion or cosmetics,” and the company claims to control its supply chain for animal products like feathers to ensure that appropriate animal husbandry practices are in place at all times.

3) Stella McCartney

This lifelong vegetarian has historically used only faux leather and no animal products in her lines, and until this year didn’t even use fake fur. That changed with her “fur free fur coat,” which sends a dramatic statement about the use of fur in fashion. McCartney had historically noted that modern fake fur is hard to discern from the real thing, making the use of fake furs questionable for those who don’t want to promote the use of animal products, but her new line of dramatic furs changes that with clear labeling and sourcing to remind wearers and the public that they’re still 100 percent cruelty free. As another luxury brand, McCartney is also demonstrating that the industry doesn’t need to torture animals in the name of fashion.

4) Calvin Klein

In 1994, the venerable brand made a shocking announcement: It was getting out of the fur business. The decision reflected Klein’s increasing unease about fur and concerns about animal welfare. His move set a clear precedent for the industry, as Calvin Klein became a trendsetter at a moment when fur was very much in fashion — but so was the animal welfare movement, and even supermodels were starting to question whether they wanted to promote the fur trade.

5) Unreal Fur

It’s right there in the name: This Aussie company refuses to deal with fur and it has done so since the start. It’s one among a growing number of emerging fashion stars that committed to going cruelty free from the ground up. Its garments are stunning, dramatic and detailed, featuring lush elements that stand out from the pack, but they still don’t contain a single hair of real fur.

6) Zara

This Spanish company decided to ditch fur in 2004, in response to growing consumer pressure. The company has also made other animal welfare commitments, refusing to carry not just fur but also angora, which involves painfully plucking hair from living rabbits. These graphic images depict the horrific conditions angora rabbits live in while waiting to be tortured for their soft, downy fur.

7) Ralph Lauren

This brand primarily used fur in accents and trim, but in 2006, it eliminated it altogether. The decision was an important statement for the industry: Yes, even a little bit of fur is still wrong. The move put pressure on other designers to get rid of fur trim and highlighted the fact that fur isn’t just about lavish mink coats. Every little bit counts.

8) Vivienne Westwood

This doyenne of fashion produces some of the most dramatic, stunning pieces around — and they’ll cost you. But they won’t cost animals, because in 2002, she went fur free, and she’s working on developing a sustainability policy for her company. When high fashion turns to fur alternatives, it’s a sign that the industry is shifting — she’s a designer who’s routinely featured in art exhibits, with products like wedding dresses that are highly sought after. Turning away from fur was an important turning point for her firm and the industry as a whole.

Having an anti-fur policy isn’t enough, as a company’s statements don’t always match with the real thing. As McCartney notes, fake fur and real fur are very close matches these days, and companies need to commit to monitoring their supply chain and confirming that their fake fur is really fake. There are some quick tools suppliers and consumers can use to determine if a product contains fur: Fake fur has a uniform backing that’s easy to penetrate with a pin, along with consistently colored fur of an identical length. The real deal has a soft, leathery backing that often contains two layers, and it’s tough to get through with a pin. Individual hairs, meanwhile, vary in length and also change in color up the shaft of the hair. If you spot real fur used by a company that’s allegedly fur free, call them out on it: Whether there’s a supply chain problem or they’re trying to pull a fast one, they don’t deserve the fur free label!

Photo credit: Airwolfhound


Richard A
Richard A1 years ago

Thank you for this article.

Mark Donner
Mark Donner3 years ago

Nothing you can do about it either, the European Union, US, Mexico, in fact the entire world has banned trade in the Canadian seal bloodbath, and the fur trade is history because of people who actually have woken up and discovered they have ethics. Nobody will bring it back, no matter how much they cry.

Mark Donner
Mark Donner3 years ago

Correction "Inuit of Canada", but the same applies to Inuit of Alaska and Russia

Mark Donner
Mark Donner3 years ago

Gerald L. Boohoo I don't give a damn about the Inuit of Alaska who get subsidies from the Canadian government and travel around in high dollar snowmobiles with high dollar rifles. If they want to survive let them come into the 20th Century with its overpopulation of humans ripping apart the Earth for their greed and to hell with your whining that they're entitled to vicious cruelty. Trapping is a horror and a crime and I hope one day you wander into one of those leghold traps just to find out how painful that really is for the victims. Canadian? I will never believe them. Canadians' favorite lie is that they care about "Inuit" You actually just care about Harper's game of disguising his environment rape and animal hate with the natives of Canada that Canadian colonizers enslaved and wiped out, along with the psychopathic thugs from the cities Harperites have been desperately trying to support for their favorite bloodbath seal holocaust. Why are you on Care2 if you think wildlife are just a "resource" to be tortured and murdered for greed?

Gerald L.
Gerald L3 years ago

@ 12:32am CT 18FEB2016. Hundreds of Inuit and Native families living in remote and Fly In access villages have negligible income because of the Anti Fur Movement. Their diet suffers because of the modern costs of hunting and fishing with mechanized boats & snow machines. The RCMP in the 1960s had a policy to cull Husky Sled dogs further impacting their winter travel & mobility over the ice fields and frozen tundra.

At the same time in the 1950s self sustaining subsistence families living on the land by hunting and fishing were forced by the Canadian Government to move into villages sometimes hundreds of miles away from their traditional hunting & trapping grounds.

Those opposing the Fur Trade are responsible for the economic genocide of Northern Inhabitants of Alaska Canada Scandinavia Russia & Siberia. The Kayak of which many of you own made of Petrochemicals was designed and engineered by the Inuit. The framework was made of whalebones and covered in waterproof sealskin. Trapping is like animal husbandry where you always leave enough stock to replenish your future needs. Animals are a renewable resource as humans are if the choose to procreate. Obviously The Beluga whales in Hudson Bay are doing well.

Beluga Whale Tours, Travel and Hotels, Everything Churchill ...
Northern Manitoba's Hudson Bay coastline is home to the world's largest population of belu

Ana R
ANA MARIJA R3 years ago

Thank You for giving us the list of those who chose going fur free. Gladly shared. Thank you.

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Jennifer H.
Jennifer H3 years ago

It is nice to have a list considering how many companies out there say they are using faux fur and it is NOT.Especially anything coming from China. They specialize in dog fur.

Virginia Abreu de Paula
Virginia Paula3 years ago

I like it.Giving us the list of those who chose going fur free. I shall remember their names with gratitude.

Melania Padilla
Melania P3 years ago

Good to know, sharing as well