Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga Go Fur-Free

The labels are the latest to join a growing list of brands to drop fur from their collections.

Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga have just joined a growing list of major fashion houses who decided to go fur-free in a discreet but very meaningful move. The labels, which are both under the Kering Group umbrella, quietly announced their decision via a recent company report. 

Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia has not been using fur in his collections for the house since at least 2015 but this is the first time the label has officially made a public announcement on the matter. In the report, Kering noted that “most of the Group’s Houses do not use fur,” including Gucci and Bottega Veneta. According to Business of Fashion, Saint Laurent and Brioni are the only Kering brands that have not announced any fur-free guidelines yet. 

The move is a recognition of changing consumer tastes and the adoption of more socially responsible practices. Other labels such as Prada, Versace, Armani, Burberry, and Chanel have also dropped fur from their collections, opting instead for cruelty-free alternatives. And it’s not just fur: certain exotic skins, leather, and even silk have been phased out by some labels. 

Though fur looks haven’t fallen out of fashion, most of the creations displayed recently feature faux versions of the fluffy material. According to a 2019 report by Edited, demand for vegan alternatives increased by 258 percent in the United States and the United Kingdom in that year alone.

While dropping fur is certainly good progress towards animal rights, faux-fur can also pose an environmental threat since it’s often made from petroleum-based, plastic fabrics, which can take up to hundreds of thousands of years to degrade. Because of that, many brands have been investing in innovative biodegradable and plant-based options for traditional animal products – including Kering, which has recently invested in Mylo, a company that develops a mushroom-based faux-leather. 

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