Net-a-Porter goes Fur-Free - the Fashion Spot
 
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10-06-2017
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Net-a-Porter goes Fur-Free
Amazing to see someone finally make some progress ! Hopefully this is a catalyst for change.

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The fur is flying again in fashion. Although Fendi has held dedicated fur runway shows with impunity for a few seasons now, suggesting the one-time cause du jour may have faded from the front lines, this week Yoox Net-a-Porter, the internet fashion behemoth that owns Net-a-Porter, Mr Porter, the Outnet and Yoox.com, announced it was going fur-free.

Given that Yoox Net-a-Porter is widely seen as the pioneer and leader in the online high-fashion space, that fur is generally seen as a high-fashion staple, and that the group has 2.9 million customers in 180 countries, 29 million monthly unique visitors and 2016 net revenues of €1.9 billion, this is a pretty big deal. It is the most prominent retailer to take an anti-fur stance yet.

The group sites will not sell fur as defined by the Fur Free Alliance, an international coalition of animal protection organizations, where the list of banned skins “includes, but is not limited to, mink, coyote, sable, fox, muskrat, rabbit and raccoon dog.” Additionally, employees have been asked not to wear fur to any public occasion where they are representing the sites. Like fashion shows, for example.

(The alliance does allow members to sell products made from leather, wool, fleece and sheepskin, and Yoox Net-a-Porter will continue to sell shearling coats from Moncler, among other brands.)

So what’s going on? Has PETA, which has recently been targeting the high-fashion world, going after brands such as Prada and Hermès, had a meaningful effect?

Yoox Net-a-Porter positioned the decision as part of the sustainability initiative it began in 2009, and Matteo James Moroni, head of sustainability at the group, said in the announcement, “We have a strong sense of responsibility and recognize the importance of making a positive contribution to society.” But Federico Marchetti, the group’s chief executive, said the reason for the decision was simple (and maybe a little less high-minded): customer feedback.

The group, it turned out, surveyed more than 25,000 clients, including the E.V.I.P.s (those who spend more than $1 million a year on the sites), and more than half the respondents said they would like the sites to stop selling fur. Since the decision, which was first noted in Yoox Net-a-Porter’s 2016 sustainability report last month, Mr. Marchetti said he had gotten lots of emails “with the common word, ‘finally!’ With an exclamation point.”

While fur has never driven a lot of sales for the group, it has been, said Mr. Marchetti, “a minor but decent part of the business.” Though he would not disclose exactly how much, he did say, “We’re making some sacrifices.”

However, he continued, “You can’t go around saying you are a customer-centric business and not listen to your customers.”

Mr. Marchetti said that Yoox Net-a-Porter first began discussing the possibility of going fur-free about a year and a half ago, but it took this long to implement the decision, from making sure fur products were no longer on the sites to teaching employees in the supply chain how to check products for compliance.

Asked if the sites’ luxury brands such as Marni (which began as a fur house), Fendi (ditto), Valentino and Michael Kors were upset by the change, Mr. Marchetti said, “We are growing by 20 percent a year, and our buy is growing, too. So even if we are giving up one kind of product, we are replacing it with something else. Everyone is happy.”

Plus, brands such as Stella McCartney, Armani and Calvin Klein are already fur-free (at least if you don’t count leather and shearling).

This is not the first time a retailer has declared itself fur-free, of course, and some have gone back on their word. In 2004 the British department store Harvey Nichols announced it was dropping fur, but in 2013, rabbit, fox and coyote were once again on the shelves.

So is this a permanent change for Net-a-Porter and its sister sites, or a temporary stance?

“We are a public company,” Mr. Marchetti said. “When we commit to something, we really can’t change our minds.”
nytimes

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10-06-2017
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Not a huge part of their sales, a smart PR move.

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10-06-2017
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^^^ Absolutely PR.

They crunched the numbers and realized their profit margins aren’t going to be effected by the lack of fur options, that’s all.

So strange to me how so many are totally fine with leather— but when it comes to fur, it’s so blasphemous… If only a giant empire like Yoox would only pressure luxury furriers to invest the necessary policies in fur farms to ensure the most humane treatments of their products rather than feign conscience, I’d respect them more. Just like how so many are just fine with consuming pork, then balk at other cultures eating dog… Pigs are extremely intelligent— way more intelligent than some dogs. It just comes down to preference (and profits in the case of companies like Yoox) and has absolutely nothing to do with morality with these types of issues.

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10-06-2017
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^Oh yes, so true on all accounts!

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11-06-2017
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They are going fur-free but are still selling sheepskin and i'm sure some goat hair.
I've always felt that the fur thing has been much more of a social thing than a real ethic thing. Sable, fox, rabbit and mink (among others) are much more attached to a certain idea of wealth or seen as vulgar display of wealth.

As Phuel said, they could have been more instrumental in a way of controlling the way the fur was extract.

They stop with fur, they should also do the same for crocodile or even python. Crocodile embossed leather or printed python are already alternatives to the move.

I'm sure MyTheresa will be happy about the move.

I'm all for this new change (even if i don't hate fur) but it needed t be approached in a much more constructive way.

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11-06-2017
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I don't know why anyone would want to spend that much on a coat that they haven't even seen or felt in person. Fur is something special that you should experience in the shop, not with a click online.

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11-06-2017
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Exactly, everyone brings up good points.

Plus there is the hassle of storing fur in the right environment (including shipping properly), not to mention the headache when someone returns fur of having to evaluate whether any deprecation occurred and if they can relist the item.

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11-06-2017
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^^^For sure. Just too much of a hassle for them to carry.

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Originally Posted by Lola701 View Post
They are going fur-free but are still selling sheepskin and i'm sure some goat hair.
I've always felt that the fur thing has been much more of a social thing than a real ethic thing. Sable, fox, rabbit and mink (among others) are much more attached to a certain idea of wealth or seen as vulgar display of wealth.

As Phuel said, they could have been more instrumental in a way of controlling the way the fur was extract.

They stop with fur, they should also do the same for crocodile or even python. Crocodile embossed leather or printed python are already alternatives to the move.

I'm sure MyTheresa will be happy about the move.

I'm all for this new change (even if i don't hate fur) but it needed t be approached in a much more constructive way.
Absolutely.

Most people will still associate “cute” animals with real fur so no matter how humane the industry practices may be/improved, it’s a losing battle when it comes to the image of real fur. Crocodiles can be endangered and farmed inhumanely— but there’s not going to be anywhere near the uproar/outrage with wearing real croc skins simply because they’re not “cute”. People are shallow like that, even without meaning to be.

If one's against wearing fur, then be against wearing all skins. If one simply don’t like furs, then that’s a personal choice. Don’t try to play the ethically-superior card by being anti-fur, but then have absolutely no issues with other skins like leathers or exotic reptile skins. They’re all skins and come from once-living beings.


Last edited by Phuel; 11-06-2017 at 04:50 PM.
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14-06-2017
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Ethically the key factor is "why" did the animal die!

Fur: The animals are harvested for it. Hence, animals are killed for your clothing. Maybe meat serves as the byproduct for pet food?

Leathers / wool: Mostly byproduct of the food industry. Hence, the animals die to feed human beings. Calf, sheep, goat, horse, deer, ostrich, kangaroo, …
Despite the fact that crocodile/alligator meat exists, I believe hides generate the majority of the profit (cold blooded animal meat sucks). Snake/shark/ray should be the same, also "caught in the wild" is a big issue (see certifications). Except if the python is Everglades sourced, invasive species population control.

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14-06-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phuel View Post
^^^ Absolutely PR.

They crunched the numbers and realized their profit margins aren’t going to be effected by the lack of fur options, that’s all.

So strange to me how so many are totally fine with leather— but when it comes to fur, it’s so blasphemous… If only a giant empire like Yoox would only pressure luxury furriers to invest the necessary policies in fur farms to ensure the most humane treatments of their products rather than feign conscience, I’d respect them more. Just like how so many are just fine with consuming pork, then balk at other cultures eating dog… Pigs are extremely intelligent— way more intelligent than some dogs. It just comes down to preference (and profits in the case of companies like Yoox) and has absolutely nothing to do with morality with these types of issues.
I'll put my dog up against your pig any day I agree that pigs are sentient and intelligent. But millions of people in my country have personal relationships with dogs. Many fewer have them with pigs.

There's a huge difference between leather and fur IMO. Fur is a luxury, and in my climate, there is simply no way to make a case that it's practical or a necessity. It is a status statement pure and simple, and it causes suffering. (For the animals, obviously, and perhaps also for the women who haul out their heavy furs the second it hits 50 degrees )

Necessary items like shoes are made from leather. (If you're wearing leather pants ... yes, you could absolutely buy cloth pants, and you probably should.) Many leather substitutes are poor quality, and some are petroleum-based and therefore unsustainable. There are numerous sustainable alternatives to fur.

The values here are Yoox's customers' values, not particularly their own. Whatever the reason, I approve.

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08-07-2017
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Net-A-Porter have quietly been fur-free for quite some time. Suppose that now Yoox is changing to fit NAP's policies and conveniently makes for a nice PR release too.

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