Prada is shedding fur to appeal to more consumers and gain positive PR.
On Wednesday, Prada turned to Twitter and Instagram to announce its commitment to stop using animal fur in its designs, effective with its Spring-Summer 2020 collection:
As part of the #PradaGroup, #Prada has announced, in collaboration with the @FurFreeAlliance, that it will no longer use animal fur in its designs or new products, starting with #PradaSS20 Women’s collections. #PradaGroupFurFree#FurFreeRetailer#FutureofFashion#FurFree pic.twitter.com/Np6HCL0w2d
— PRADA (@Prada) May 22, 2019
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As part of the #PradaGroup, #Prada has announced, in collaboration with the #FurFreeAlliance, that it will no longer use animal fur in its designs or new products, starting with #PradaSS20 Women’s collections. #PradaGroupFurFree #FurFreeRetailer #FutureofFashion #FurFree @lav_italia @humanesociety @FurFreeRetailer
The announcement is the result of a collaboration with the Fur Free Alliance, a coalition of more than 50 animal protection organizations from 40 countries, which led a campaign to pressure Prada to go fur-free in 2018. Prada has also worked with The Humane Society of the United States and LAV, an Italian organization for animal rights.
In a press release, the fashion house’s head designer and founder of Miu Miu, Miuccia Prada, said:
“The Prada Group is committed to innovation and social responsibility, and our fur-free policy – reached following a positive dialogue with the Fur Free Alliance, in particular with LAV and the Humane Society of the United States – is an extension of that engagement,” said Miuccia Prada. “Focusing on innovative materials will allow the company to explore new boundaries of creative design while meeting the demand for ethical products.”
Prada joins a growing list of designers ditching fur, which include Coach, Michael Kors, Burberry, Chanel, Versace, Jimmy Choo, Armani, Diane von Furstenberg, Versace, DKNY and Gucci.
Chanel and Victoria Beckham also pledged to stop using exotic animal skins, such as snake and crocodile, in their designs. Prada said in its press release that though it will stop using fur, it will continue to use leather and other animal products that are “by-products of the meat trade” (including sheepskin).
Prada said the decision caters to changing consumer preferences.
Business of Fashion reported:
The ban is a response to shifting consumer attitudes and low demand, said Lorenzo Bertelli, Prada Group’s head of marketing and communications.
“Fur has never been part of the main pieces of Prada,” he said, adding that the brand has already stopped showing animal fur on its catwalk. “People are always asking for a more sustainable approach from the company … [consumers are] different from the past. They think everybody needs to do their part to have a more sustainable world and future.”
However, Prada has received growing backlash for its continued use of fur, even after other designers committed to use alternatives.
The change has been a long time coming. Last year, after Prada was the target of a concerted email campaign by animal rights activists to get them to stop using fur, the company revealed it had been moving away from it and toward man-made materials and recycled goods—and reinventing its iconic nylon bag.
Campaigners stepped up their calls for Prada to stop using fur last year, when, according to the Humane Society, Prada was selling jackets made of fox fur and minx fur.
Those items no longer appear to be available on Prada’s website, which does list other items which apparently use fox fur as trim on coats.
Prada’s ban on fur also comes as several major cities have banned or are banning fur sales.
… In New York, the largest market for fur in the US, the city council is considering a ban on the sale of fur apparel. San Francisco and Los Angeles have already passed similar bans, coming into effect this year and in 2021, respectively.
Though Prada’s announcement came much later than other designers with similar anti-fur commitments, having such a large brand join the list will probably reignite conversation about using fur in fashion. It also offers Prada a positive PR win.
The efforts to stop using fur (and for some, exotic animal skins) is one of several ways the fashion industry is attempting to repair its tattered image—especially after several crises with fashion houses including Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci.
Another effort to clean up fashion’s reputation is France’s decision to spearhead an industry-wide global sustainability effort to lessen the clothing, shoe and accessory makers’ environmental footprint.
There’s also a pact between LVMH and Kering to stop hiring extremely thin models, and Kering’s declaration it would stop hiring models under 18 years of age. Additionally, internal audits on diversity at Gucci and Prada have occurred after the brands released products that criticized as insensitive for resembling blackface imagery.
Though many applauded Prada’s announcement, both PETA and The International Fur Federation said the company’s efforts were unsatisfactory.
Commenting on the decision, PETA said in a statement that while it applauds Prada for joining the list of fashion houses that are dropping fur, it now urges the brand to “follow in Chanel’s compassionate footsteps by also removing cruelly obtained exotic skins — including crocodile, lizard, and snake skins — from future collections. Most shoppers no longer wish to wear anything from any animal who was electrocuted, bludgeoned, and killed.”
The fur industry has scorned the trend towards fur-free fashion, and Mark Oaten of The International Fur Federation said in a statement: “I am surprised that a brand who care about sustainability are banning a natural product like fur.
“Now Prada customers will only have plastic fur as an option, which is bad for the planet. I urge Prada to think again and trust its own consumers to decide if they want to buy real or fake fur.”
Prada hasn’t responded to either criticism, but rankling the fur industry will probably not hurt the designer’s bottom line.
The Telegraph reported:
Fur represents a fraction of most fashion groups’ sales in fact, and while figures for Prada were not available, at rival Gucci which stopped using fur in 2018, it accounted for just 0.16 percent of the total.
Business of Fashion reported:
The ban won’t have much impact on the Prada’s bottom line, as fur accounts for less than 0.1 percent of the materials currently used in production, but it will likely give the luxury brand a marketing boost.
“At this point it’s offsetting the small amount of profits that they get from the fur trade,” said PJ Smith, fashion director at the Humane Society US.
What do you think of Prada’s announcement, PR Daily readers?