Copenhagen Fashion Week Commits To A Fur-Free Future

This year’s Copenhagen Fashion Week banned fur from its catwalk shows


3 Minutes Read

woman wearing beige hat, wrist watch, turtleneck, brown faux fur coat poses in european city Activists are hoping more fashion weeks will follow Copenhagen's lead - Media Credit: Adobe Stock

Copenhagen Fashion Week has officially wrapped up a completely fur-free event, after pledging to ban the material following a PETA demonstration last year.

Joining forces with Anima International and Danish animal rights group Dyrenes Alliance, PETA UK held a protest outside the fashion event in 2021. 

The organization declared that “fur is death” and not a fashion accessory.

Organizers of Copenhagen Fashion Week announced earlier this year that it would be prohibiting fur from its catwalks. The decision was made in the interests of animal welfare and sustainability.

Fur was not used in any of the shows at this year’s event, which ended on August 12. 

The move follows major fashion brands opting to ban fur from their collections. Gucci, Balenciaga, and Alexander McQueen have all led the charge. 

The event also aligns with Amsterdam, Oslo, Helsinki, and London fashion weeks, which have all previously banned fur. The move could put pressure on Milan and Paris to follow suit. 

Is the future of fashion vegan?

London Fashion Week was the first to ban fur on its catwalks. Since then, a slew of events have followed its lead. Finland even took things further by banning all animal leather.

“We at Helsinki Fashion Week, with the support of the Nordic Fashion Week Association, are taking an active stand against cruelty to animals and the damaging environmental impacts that the use of animal leather brings with it,” a press release at the time stated.

So far, several luxury brands have pledged to stop using fur or angora in their collections. Last year, Stella McCartney and Humane Society International led a campaign calling for an end to the global fur trade. 

McCartney has since showcased mushroom leather alternatives in her work. This could offer the potential for a similar campaign to remove animal leather from the fashion industry.

Copenhagen’s sustainability demands 

To qualify for catwalk consideration, designers must adhere to Copenhagen Fashion Week’s “18 Minimum Standards” from its sustainability action plan.

These include ensuring that unsold clothes are not destroyed and a lack of single-use plastic in packaging. And now, that all garments are fur-free.

“All industry players – including fashion weeks – have to be accountable for their actions and be willing to change the way business is done,” Cecilie Thorsmark, CEO of Copenhagen Fashion Week said during a press conference. 

A ‘turning point’ for animal welfare

Around 100 million animals are bred and killed for their fur each year. 

Most are raised in cramped conditions that restrict natural movements. These animals frequently demonstrate signs of high stress and are deprived of the ability to engage in natural behaviors. 

After the World Health Organization listed fur farming as an area of interest in ongoing COVID-19 origin investigations, the industry has been hit by multiple bans. 

Areas like British Columbia, Italy, and most recently Malta, have all committed to fur-free futures. 

“The momentum with banning fur farming and in particular as a practice in fashion is at a historic moment and a major turning point. What we are witnessing is consumers saying en masse that they want the brands they buy from to be in favor of animal welfare,” Thomas Pietsch, head of wild animals in entertainment and textiles at Four Paws said in a statement

“Paris and Milan fashion weeks have still not decided to go fur-free which is wholly unacceptable. Both events must immediately decide to join the majority of the European shows in banning this promotion of this inhumane and unsustainable practice,” he concluded.

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