Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Yesterday, Alice + Olivia contacted the Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade to say that they are going fur-free. After 18 actions and 11 days, we win.
In fact, A+O pulled all fur from its stores and website in the first week of our campaign, but refused to officially go fur free until today.
Stacey has bragged about using fur without remorse for years. An actual billionaire with unlimited resources to fight us. And it took her two weeks to decide that giving up part of her business was a better option than dealing with us.
And this is only the beginning.
A strategy for success
We were ready to take on Alice + Olivia’s executives, board members, investors, their other companies, even charities on the boards of which they sat. And we were ready to further diversify our tactics, within the bounds of the law. But we achieved success by focusing on A+O storefronts alone. The victory was thus the result of aspects of our strategy built into its architecture from the first day:
Coordinated national action
The animal rights movement is strongest when we work together. Our opponents are national and international. By choosing a common target and making it a focus for every city, we win. This victory was made possible by independent local groups in Chicago, Boston, New York, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Houston, Dallas, Connecticut, Los Angeles, and Orange County.
Forceful and tactically diverse action
Alice + Olivia experienced 18 actions in 11 days. And we know of at least six more that were planned prior to our week of action against fur on February 7. Tactics ranged from a day of phone calls to chalking to disruptions to demonstrations to a special alarm-based action from a lone rabbit. One independent street art activist made “Wanted” posters of Stacey Bendet, but this victory came too quickly for them to put them up around her city. While we may not be able to maintain this pace with longer-term targets, the important take-away is that Alice + Olivia was under a state of siege. On Monday mornings, management’s email inboxes were full of reports from stores in different cities about “the activists.”
We began as a few people with a theory. With results-based campaigning – winnable goals and smart strategy to achieve them – we build our movement and build momentum for future victories. Let’s break down these two goals to see if the theory holds up.
Building our movement
The Monique Lhuillier campaign began with only a few cities. After that victory, over a dozen cities were ready to take action. And our structure – total autonomy for local groups with our full backing and support – empowers local activists and ensures a diversity of tactics as we move into the future.
Building momentum for future victories
We beat Monique Lhuillier in 14 days. And after seeing what we achieved, Stacey Bendet – a designer with almost twenty times as many stores as Monique – went fur free in 11. Now, our reputation precedes us as we move to larger designers and retailers.
Onto the next
We will not achieve animal liberation with wishful thinking and positive intentions. We will achieve it by using incremental victories as stepping stones. We are knocking down the fur industry brick by brick, and together we will watch it crumble. Join us and make history.
Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade – United States