(TMU) — American department stores chains Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have pledged to be fur-free by the end of 2020, according a press release from the parent company of the iconic retail store chains.
With 900 stores in 44 states and almost 130,000 employees, such a decision affecting Macy’s is not to be taken lightly. The department store holds a special place in the hearts of Americans and has a consistent presence in American pop culture. From the annual Macy’s Christmas Day Parade to its familiar logo, most Americans have been touched by the retail behemoth in one way or another since its inception in 1858.
According to Monday’s press release, both stores will stop selling fur by the end of fiscal year 2020. The announcement includes all Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s private brands in addition to products sold from brand partners and items sold at Macy’s, Inc. off-price stores including Macy’s Backstage and Bloomingdale’s The Outlet.
All Fur Vaults and salons are also set to close.
Jeff Gennette, chairman and chief executive officer of Macy’s, Inc. explained:
“Over the past two years, we have been closely following consumer and brand trends, listening to our customers and researching alternatives to fur. We’ve listened to our colleagues, including direct feedback from our Go Green Employee Resource Group, and we have met regularly on this topic with the Humane Society of the United States and other NGOs. Macy’s private brands are already fur free so expanding this practice across all Macy’s, Inc. is the natural next step. We are proud to partner with the Humane Society of the United States in our commitment to ending the sale of fur. We remain committed to providing great fashion and value to our customers, and we will continue to offer high-quality and fashionable faux fur alternatives.”
Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, applauded the decision, saying, “Macy’s, Inc.’s forward-thinking and principled decision to end the sale of fur by the end of fiscal 2020.”
Block went on to say:
“This announcement is consistent with the views of countless consumers in the marketplace, and other retailers should follow. With so many designers, major cities and now a state taking a stand against the sale of fur, we’re that much closer to ending this unnecessary and inhumane practice.”
According to the Humane Society of the United States, California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a ban on fur sales into law earlier this month in what many hope to be a trend that additional states and municipalities will follow. Fur sales have already been regulated and restricted in more than a dozen countries in Europe, including in the United Kingdom, Austria, the Czech Republic, Norway and the Netherlands with Ireland currently in the process of passing a ban on fur production and a draft bill having just been introduced in Bulgaria.
Just last week, the Humane Society International/United Kingdom released a report after an investigation showed the suffering endured by animals like foxes and mink on fur farms. It should also be noted that animals trapped in the wild are forced to suffer as well including those caught in leghold traps for days.
There is no excuse for the fur industry to continue attempting to justify the level of cruelty inflicted on 100 million animals every year when adequate fur alternatives are widely available. Some of these alternatives are plant based and environmentally friendly, like Stella McCartney’s Koba faux fur made with corn and recycled materials or the organic leather made from the prickly pear cactus invented by Adrian Lopez and Marte Cazarez previously reported on by the Mind Unleashed.
After this week’s announcement, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s appear on track to becoming industry leaders in a new landscape of ethical and sustainable products if they choose to fill the hole left after the halting of fur sales.
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