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Saks Says No To Fur, The Latest Fashion Seller To Go Fur-Free

Saks Fifth Avenue is joining a growing list of retailers and brands to phase out animal fur.
Lynne Sladky
Saks Fifth Avenue is joining a growing list of retailers and brands to phase out animal fur.

Saks Fifth Avenue is going fur-free, becoming the latest fashion seller to take animal-fur clothes and accessories off its shelves.

Saks announced on Wednesday it would close all of its fur salons by the end of fiscal 2021 and phase out all fur products by the end of fiscal 2022. It joins other department stores such as Macy's, Bloomingdale's and Nordstromin shifting away from selling furs.

Saks Chief Merchandising Officer Tracy Margolies, in a statement, cited "customer preferences and societal shifts," adding that "the sale of fur remains a significant social issue."

The retailer said it would phase out products made with fur from wild animals or from animals raised for their fur. The store plans to keep selling leather, shearling, goatskin, down, feathers and faux fur products.

Numerous luxury fashion brands have gone fur-free in recent years, including Gucci, Chanel, Burberry and Prada — in a movement that Voguemagazine has called "a sea change in the luxury industry."

"I don't want to kill animals to make fashion. It doesn't feel right," Donatella Versace said in a 2018 interview.

In 2019, Queen Elizabeth II's official dresser revealed that the British monarchswitched to faux fur. Canada Goose, whose famous parkas feature hoods adorned with coyote fur, said last yearit would stop buying new fur from trappers by 2022, though it will keep using recycled fur.

California has become the first U.S. state to ban the sale of animal-fur products with a law that goes into effect in 2023. Exceptions are made for some religious or cultural purposes, including by members of a Native American tribe.

The International Fur Federation has argued that such laws raise environmental concerns because faux furs are often made with plastics and get discarded in landfills. Last week, a federal judge ruled against the trade group, rejecting its lawsuitthat challenged San Francisco's ban on fur sales.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Alina Selyukh is a business correspondent at NPR, where she follows the path of the retail and tech industries, tracking how America's biggest companies are influencing the way we spend our time, money, and energy.