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Los Angeles fur protest
via PETA

California is banning the sale of fur

Starting from 2023, California will become the first US state to bar its residents from selling clothes, shoes, and handbags made from fur

If this SS20 season was defined by anything, it was sustainability and ethical fashion. From carbon offsetting at Gucci to trees at Dior, the fashion industry is finding ways to decrease its environmental impact.

And now, a new law has been passed in California which will see the state become the first in the US to ban the sale and manufacture of new fur. 

Starting from 2023, residents will be barred from selling clothes, shoes, and handbags made from fur, with those found breaking the law potentially facing fines of up to $500 (£395) or in repeat cases, $1,000.

Signed this weekend by Gov. Gavin Newsom, he said “California is a leader when it comes to animal welfare, and today that leadership includes banning the sale of fur.”

Although the measure was praised by animal rights groups, others were less welcoming of the bill, such as the Fur Information Council of America, which has already threatened to sue. Keith Kaplan, a spokesman from the institution, said in a statement that the ban is part of a “radical vegan agenda using fur as the first step to other bans on what we wear and eat.” He went on to say fake fur is not a renewable or sustainable option.

In 2014 the retail fur industry brought in over $1.5bn in sales, but many fashion labels have already stopped using fur in their collections. Last year Gucci famously announced that it would no longer be using fur, following in the footsteps of VersaceArmani, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Stella McCartney, and Ralph Lauren. Elsewhere, London-based department store Selfridges has said it will be banning the sale of exotic animal skins starting from February 2020. 

The ban, however, will not apply to used products or those used for religious or tribal purposes. It also excludes the sale of leather, dog and cat fur, cowhides, deer, sheep and goatskin, and anything preserved through taxidermy. The bill is also set to bar most animals from circus performances, making California the third state to do so.