Coach is one of the latest brands to announce their separation from the fur industry – as many luxury labels have publicly announced throughout the past few months.
The label has promised that animal fur will be completely removed by the time of their fall 2019 collection release. Coach’s chief executive, Joshua Schulman made a statement on the occurrence. “We understood from our employees and consumers that it was important to them for us to take a stand on this issue,” he mentioned in an interview with BoF. Schulman also stated he believes it’s the right thing for them to do.
For a long time, throughout history, fur has been glamourized as an expensive commodity – one that connected with symbols of higher status or upper classes. Fur coats most definitely make a statement (as seen on mini fashion icon North West) and have also been glamourized by her father – Quote, “Tell PETA my mink is dragging on the floor.” A statement by none other than Kanye.
However, in a era of a generation full of movements towards equality and progressive living (#MeToo, women’s march, vegan diets, etc) it has been come to known that a majority of consumers are showing a growing concern for issues such as these, as well as fashion sustainability and animal rights – in specifically, animal abuse and mistreatment throughout the fur industry, a lot of it being exposed by PETA.
In understanding the anti-fur movement, surely it is one of the evolving changes that are definitely happening in the industry – slowly but surely. Why is that? Social movements against fur, both online and offline have highly affected the perception of a brand and their place in moving towards creating environmentally friendly sustainable fashion. Thanks to social media, luxury brands can directly engage with consumers and audiences. During this digital era, there is an inevitable direct medium of communication between them – thus, brands can see how their audiences feel about topics such as this and can directly respond.
Why is it that brands have reacted? It’s simple. Throughout the marketing and branding standpoint, outrage from your target audiences and demographic is simply something that cannot be ignored. Perhaps it can, but then a brand would probably seem incompetent, inconsiderate, and as having a lack of compassion — leading to maybe a decrease in sales and popularity. If the masses show their concerns for inhumane animal treatment, the effective way for a brand to rise and show itself in a positive light is to react and “give the people what they want.” Even if this means taking drastic action towards customer wants/needs. It’s all about making the customer happy, right?!
Coach isn’t the only luxury brand to have dropped fur. It’s only the latest of many, including Gucci, Burberry, Versace, Tom Ford, Stella McCartney, and Vivienne Westwood.
Everyone knows a successful brand has good publicity, and wants to maintain a positive reputation and image within the media realm.
Overall, fur will still always maintain a “statement” look. The fur look has appealed to many, but luckily consumers and the industry are approaching faux fur looks – in light of the shift towards sustainable fashion and protecting animal rights.
Perhaps, and/or hopefully this is first of many steps the fashion industry and consumers will take towards ethical fashion, and sustainability, as there’s still a long way to go.
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