For now, the industry continues driving the agenda of desensitising and normalising these ‘fur products’ for a new generation; marketing them as just another fabric. Sadly, it is working, with a growing number of millennial influencers, such as Kendall Jenner, who are comfortable linking their personal brand and reputation to such products.
Whilst the fur industry has been happy to invest in a 40-year strategic marketing campaign, to nudge and win over young designers and new customers, it hasn’t made a similar commitment to improve supply chain transparency, regulation and strong animal welfare standards. A 2019 article describes dogs and puppies ‘neglected and starving’ in cages at a fur farm in Poland. “The dogs were found alongside foxes that were destined to be killed for their pelts. It was not clear why dogs were being kept at the farm or whether any had been slaughtered for their fur.”
After nearly 50 years of high profile campaigns, the fur industry’s culture hasn’t shifted much. It is irrelevant that a couple of companies have changed some of their business practices in relation to animal welfare. This is a global industry, who can’t or won’t police itself, resulting in animals screaming as they are being skinned alive.
Consumers and designers must send a clear message, if the industry wants to survive; it must deal with its global, systemic problems. If it can’t or won’t, it is time to nudged the fur industry in to the history books.