Prada Group joins their luxury fashion peers Gucci, Chanel, Versace and Burberry by ditching fur in their collections - why this matters

Keep the print, but ditch the fur
Keep the print, but ditch the fur

As consumers become more conscious, so does the pressure for brands to cater to our ethics by taking a cruelty-free, environmentally-friendly and inclusive approach to their both their production processes and their marketing. 

The pressure to make ethically produced products and merchandise has certainly hit the fashion and beauty industries in a major way - positively so. 

READ MORE: Are these racist and offensive designs just a ploy for luxury brands looking for more attention?

And the latest brand to go cruelty-free is Italian luxury fashion group Prada, which announced yesterday that it would be going fur-free in partnership with the Fur Free Association (FFA).

Prada's first-ever fur-free collection will be the women's Spring/Summer '20 collection. 

According to i-D, the label's head designer Miuccia Prada said in a statement that "focusing on innovative materials will allow the company to explore new boundaries of creative design while meeting the demand for ethical products."

See Miuccia's full statement below:

READ MORE: Victoria Beckham pledges to stop using exotic skins in her collections

What this means is that these Prada pieces will soon be the last of their kind:

Prada goes fur free
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 16: A guest wears a bei

Images: Getty

Thomas Pietsch, Wild Animal Expert at FFA, member of FOUR PAWS gave the following statement;

“The Prada Group is among many high-profile frontrunners who support a forward-thinking attitude as fur in fashion becomes less and less attractive. Consumers want to support companies that care about animal protection and are interested in the many alternatives to real fur that are already used in the fashion industry. This is what we also observe in our daily work as the official representative of the Fur Free Retailer Program in Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Germany and South Africa.”

The Prada Group has also been applauded by the FFA with the program manager Brigit Oele revealing that the "Prada Group was one of the fastest companies to go fur-free once positive dialogue began a little more than a year ago. The Fur Free Retailer Program includes 1000 companies, showing that this global movement is gaining momentum fast, and it’s very unlikely that fur will ever return as an acceptable trend".

We predicted that this movement would take flight in the world of luxury fashion earlier this year when luxury Parisian fashion house, Chanel, announced that they would no longer be using the exotic skins of snakes, crocodiles, lizards and galuchat (stingrays) to make their products. 

READ MORE: Chanel has banned the use of exotic skins on all their products - why this matters

The victory for ethical fashion was sparked by the label's challenges with sourcing ethically and responsibly produced exotic skins, their head of fashion Bruno Pavlovsky declared. 

“We are continually reviewing our supply chains to ensure they meet our expectations of integrity and traceability. In this context, it is our experience that it is becoming increasingly difficult to source exotic skins which match our ethical standards,” the luxury brand said in a statement. 

According to Business of Fashion (BoF), this now makes Chanel the first and biggest luxury fashion label to shed exotic skins. 

A number of luxury labels including the likes of Gucci, Tom Ford, Michael Kors, Versace, and Maison Margiela all ditched fur over the past year or two, but the movement against exotic skins hasn't quite taken off in the same way.

With regards to fur, the late veteran designer for Chanel Karl Lagerfeld told Women’s Wear Daily that the label seldom uses fur - so much so that he couldn't recall the last time it appeared on their runway shows. Dropping exotic skins then is something they did "because it's in the air. It’s a free choice," Lagerfeld declared.

Diane von Furstenberg is just one of a handful of fashion bigwigs who've opted out of the use of exotic skins, and now they are joined by the likes of Chanel and Victoria Beckham. 

The highly sought after shoes, handbags, and coats made from exotic skins, which are the brand's biggest revenue generators were all removed from the brand's website following the announcement.

Does this mean Chanel sales have dropped or that Prada sales will plummet?

Not in the slightest.

BoF reported that Chanel is "working to create a new generation of high-end products using different materials."

The other side of this coin is that the brand's classic python handbags, which sell for around $10,300 (R142 482), are about to be in high demand on the resale market, as secondhand bags were already on sale for 85K since Chanel took snakeskin handbags off their official website in December 2018.

READ MORE: You can buy the world's most expensive bag for a cool R46 million

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