Just days after the retail giant Gap, Inc. was targeted for selling fur items in one of its upscale franchise chains, the company has vowed to stop selling fur at the store. Spokesperson Debbie Mesloh issued this statement regarding its brand Piperlime:
Your opinions and views matter to us. That is why, effective immediately, Piperlime will no longer sell real fur products, whether they are made by our company or not. This is an expansion beyond our existing policy of prohibiting real fur in our branded products. We are committed to the ethical sourcing of our products, which includes the humane treatment of animals. We are also committed to our customers and welcome your feedback.
The move comes in response to a Change.org petition that gained over 50,000 signatures. The petition urged Gap, which has previously touted its decision not to sell fur or angora in its stores, to uphold the same standard for its franchise brands. As of last week, Piperlime, a chain launched in 2006, wasn't meeting those standards. When customers threatened to boycott, the tables were turned.
Brands' decisions not to sell fur and angora reflect a growing shift away from the fur industry, which is widely known for its many inhumane methods. One 2011 survey from the RSPCA found that 95 percent of people reported that they would not wear real fur, while 93 percent wanted clothing to be clearly labelled as real or fake fur.
Despite this trend, fur has been making a comeback in recent years on fashion runways, thanks in large part to a powerful lobbying push from the fur industry. But not everyone's buying into it. Many designers are joining the anti-fur bandwagon, including names like Stella McCartney, Tommy Hilfiger, John Bartlett, and Calvin Klein. See this page for more animal-friendly designers.