At CAFT, our New Year’s resolution was to act with mercy and compassion in our hearts, and our hearts are telling us to put the wretched fur industry out of its misery by any means necessary. We are happy to oblige.
Let’s take a look back at the incredible month in fur.
Fur-Free: Moncler, Dolce & Gabbana, Zegna Group!
In one historic week, three leading international fashion houses dropped out of the fur trade forever.
January 25: Moncler (2024)
The Moncler campaign began on September 24, 2021, and the company weathered 123 days of sustained action in over a dozen cities before tapping out.
This timing was lucky – big moves were in the works. We had already granted them a secondary targeting sneak peak, against two institutional investors and sister brand Stone Island. And this was the first CAFT campaign to see multiple groups in different cities all doing weekly demos, rain or shine. Good times had by all.
CAFT has yet to determine the impact of Italy’s recent fur farming ban on the criteria, process, or timing behind Moncler’s decision. Nor the ban’s financial impact, if any, on Moncler. Investigation is underway.
We cannot express enough our solidarity and gratitude, towards everybody who took action for this historic victory. It belongs to all of us, and we’re only stronger for the next one.
January 26/31: Dolce & Gabbana (2022)
New York City activists have guided activity against D&G for years, often operating in conjunction with others in London, Toronto, and Los Angeles. The January 31 fur-free announcement by D&G and friends pulled huge international media, both from D&G’s name recognition and the timing alongside Moncler (and despite a January 26 leak). Italy’s recent fur farming ban also made for maximum effect.
Most noteworthy: D&G’s commitment to continue its work with furriers, using new materials. This protects workers, precludes their return to fur, and may introduce fur alternatives to peers. Most vitally, the program’s success would be a model for Fendi, and its highly skilled fur atelier and fur supply chain workers. This model is being implemented right now, in their own country.
Dolce & Gabbana is a company whose founders rack up felony charges between ranting to the press about Asians or gay parents. They relish controversy and stage mock protests and boycotts against themselves and their critics. And yet, even these people refuse to risk having their brand image associated with fur any longer.
This one should really be a wake-up call for those still using fur. The company that named its footwear “Slave Sandals” just became your more forward-thinking competitor.
February 1: Zegna Group (2023)
After the Moncler victory, CAFT announced a new priority target: Zegna Group, the planet’s largest menswear company and owner of brands Ermenegildo Zegna and Thom Browne.
On January 29, the campaign launched. And on February 1, it ended with Zegna Group going fur-free – a four-day victory.
Zegna Group is the first CAFT campaign target with the prescience to spare itself months of strife – a landmark development in our war against fur.
This is the result when companies understand not only that the future is fur-free – but also that the past is neither instruction nor comfort against the movement bringing that future to their doorsteps right now.
Campaign Launch: LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton
CAFT launched the LVMH campaign on January 29 with protests in multiple cities.
LVMH is a behemoth. Early strategy calls for general action against all LVMH targets:
- Fur houses (current): Louis Vuitton, Dior, Fendi, Loro Piana, Berluti
- Not fur-free: 9 fashion houses insist they can bring back fur any time
- Other LVMH subsidiaries and investments
- LVMH Houses (all targets)
- L Catterton (“Current” investments only; fashion brands are priority)
- LVMH Luxury Ventures (“In Portfolio” only)
- Other: fashion (eg. Tod’s, Off-White, JW Anderson, Phoebe Philo Studio); real estate ( comm., resid.); alcohol (eg. Armand de Brignac)
- Affiliates of any of the above or LVMH (partners, collaborators, co-owners, investors, board member financial ties, consultants, suppliers, sponsorships, brand ambassadors)
- Events sponsored by any of the above (one angle at alcohol, perfume brands)
- NEVER Fur-free fashion brands (public commitment):
- NOT Sephora (fur-free announcement – mink lashes)
- NOT Fur-free department stores – nor LVMH brand concessions inside those stores
- NOT Stella McCartney (all vegan)
Variety is the spice of life – mix it up!
Questions? Comments? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Find the initial campaign announcement here.
Is It Possible That the Fur Commission Did Something Competent?
Fur Commission USA is officially operating under a new executive director, Challis Hobbs.
At 30 years old, with an MBA and no known QAnon affiliation, Hobbs is a brand new image for the American fur industry. He was raised on a fourth-generation mink farm in Preston, Idaho, and comes to the Fur Commission after five years at international auction house Saga Furs, which remains solvent to date of writing.
Besides the traditional mandate to perjure and prevaricate, Hobbs’ areas of focus may include: a jobs program for future ex-farmers run in partnership with Burger King; successful import of mink vaccine FurcoVac absent any conspiracy-fueled member revolt; FCUSA bridge tournaments to kill time waiting for the fabled pelt price surge; and free Angry Birds credit to cope with the gutting existential pain when that surge fails to materialize.
CAFT will miss former director Michael Whelan. We fondly recall some of the finer moments of Whelan’s tenure, and are inspired by his years-long battle to master the look and style of Tiger King’s Doc Antle. But he will be most remembered for his soul patch, which turned all who gazed upon it to stone.
As for Hobbs, who spits on twelve years of facial grooming precedent, we will report back as we monitor his performance and study the long-term cognitive effects of working at FCUSA. Perhaps the board searched for an anti-Whelan: someone born into their death cult but with the capacity to succeed outside of it. Or perhaps they just enjoy a reminder that their children have a shot to escape their way of life.
This new beginning demands a welcoming gift. So, Challis, from all of us at CAFT, we hope you are enjoying your beautiful full-bound United States Bankruptcy Code, 2022 Edition. Good luck.
January 2021 – A Look Back
On January 26, 2021, Alice + Olivia announced that it was going fur-free after 18 actions in 11 days, including one visit from a very upset bunny. This was the second campaign victory for a fledgling CAFT. We could not have imagined that Saks Fifth Avenue would follow suit only two months later, and certainly not the successes that the rest of the year would bring (nor breaking the 11-day record). Exactly one year after A+O, Dolce & Gabbana’s fur-free policy was reported.
We have arrived.
Be on the watch for a coming breakdown of the Zegna victory, plus a look at the impact of the major fashion houses on the fur industry as a whole. We will ask the question that we should all be asking ourselves regularly: Is this working?