How San Francisco’s Banning of Fur Will Affect Retailers

San Francisco has become the largest city in the U.S. to ban fur sales. On Tuesday, supervisors voted unanimously for the ban, and the legislation will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019, while retailers have until Jan. 1, 2020, to sell current inventory.

Katy Tang, San Francisco Supervisor for District 4 and author of the bill, tweeted yesterday: “Speaking on behalf of those with no voice, my colleagues just voted 10-0 to support my ban on the sale of new fur apparel & accessories beginning 1/1/19. No more profiting off the literal backs of animals.”

According to animal welfare organizations such as In Defense of Animals, it’s estimated that over 50 million animals are killed for their fur worldwide every year. With San Francisco joining other California cities such as West Hollywood and Berkley, it looks like future of fur and fashion is quickly changing — and luxury labels are also on board.

Most recently, Versace confirmed that the brand is going fur-free as part of a broader plan to embrace a more conscious approach to fashion. In an official statement sent on March 16, the company announced that it will completely phase out fur from its product lines starting with its 2019 collections.

“Fur products already represent a minor part of Versace’s product line,” CEO Jonathan Akeroyd said. “This commitment is part of a broader, sustainable innovation program the company is pursuing that includes not only a strong commitment to work across our entire supply chain but also a strong and deep cultural shift that will benefit all employees.”

Versace follows other major designers such as Gucci, which also is saying no to fur. Gucci CEO Marco Bizzari also told FN that going fur-free is part of the company’s 10-year sustainability plan that aims to reduce the impact it has on the planet.

Major labels that have stopped using real fur include Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein. Retailers including Net-a-Porter and Selfridges have also said no to the material.

But for those still sourcing fur for clothing, shoes and accessories, and the retailers that are supplying them, what does this mean for them? In San Francisco, Keith Kaplan, the spokesperson for the Fur Information Council of America, said in statement: “Not only does the city stand to lose millions in tax revenues and jobs, but it will also likely increase retail vacancies in the city’s core, adding to urban blight and decay.”

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