Designers Showing Fur At London Fashion Week Will Breach Its Animal Welfare Guidelines

Under the guidelines, animals who are used for their skins must be afforded five 'freedoms' - these include freedom from hunger and thirst; discomfort; pain, injury or disease; fear and distress. Fur farming is incompatible with these
Model wearing fur on the catwalk
Designers will be breaching welfare codes if they show fur at London Fashion Week (Photo: Adobe. Do not use without permission)

Veterinarians and campaigners have released a report warning designers that if they put real fur on the catwalk, they will directly breach the British Fashion Council's 'Positive Fashion' guidelines.

The guidelines include the 'Five Freedoms' of animal welfare: freedom from hunger and thirst; discomfort; pain, injury or disease; fear and distress; and with the ability to express normal behavior. The report states that the intensive farming of fur-bearing animals is incompatible with these Five Freedoms.

London Fashion Week's September 2018 show was fur-free for the first time, according to the  British Fashion Council (BFC). Although the organization had not banned the fabric, none of the participating designers chose to use it. According to BFC Chief Executive Caroline Rush, the fur-free stance 'highlights a trend we have seen over the past few years, with more and more brands deciding to use alternative materials to fur'.

'Disregard for science'

"I firmly believe that the very nature of fur farming, essentially wild animals confined in small wire battery cages, precludes it from meeting even the most basic of the five freedoms," Dr. Alick Simmons, former UK Government Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer, said in a statement sent to Plant Based News.

"If designers continue to show fur at London Fashion Week, they are clearly showing flagrant disregard for both science and public opinion."

"We applaud the British Fashion Council for putting in place guidelines to show designers the standards they expect to prevent harmful exploitation of people, the environment and animals, and now all eyes are on the designers to see if they’ll respect these principles," added Claire Bass Executive Director of HSI UK.

"Clearly, fur cruelty is out of step with globally recognized welfare standards, so showing fur at London Fashion Week would be the ultimate fashion faux-pas, and at a time when the vast majority of designers are dropping fur in order to distance themselves from this cruel and outdated product."

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

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PBN Contributor:

Maria is the Editor of Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.

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