ELLE International has announced it will no longer promote fur in any of its 45 editions.
The decision is notable: with more than 33 million readers, and nearly 100 million monthly online visitors, ELLE is one of the world’s most influential fashion magazines. According to Valeria Bessolo Llopiz, the publication’s international director, fur is “no longer in line” with the magazine’s values or its reader’s values.
At a UK conference hosted by The Business of Fashion, Llopiz stated that ELLE was “rejecting animal cruelty” and instead, favoring a more “humane fashion industry.”
Fur industry cruelty
According to investigations carried out by animal protection group the Humane Society International (HSI), animals farmed for their fur, including mink, foxes, and raccoons, are kept in dismal, cramped, and barren conditions. Many suffer from disease and deformities due to these conditions, and some show signs of severe mental distress by spinning and pacing in their cages.
These farms also have a detrimental environmental impact, as they require vast amounts of land, water, feed, and energy to be sustained. And after the pelts are removed from the animals, they are often bleached and dyed with toxic chemicals. The runoff from this process can pollute the soil and local waterways. And fur farms also pose a viral risk. In 2020, Denmark culled 17 million minks after they developed a mutated strain of COVID-19.
Fashion moves away from fur
ELLE’s decision reflects a growing shift in the fashion industry away from fur. Earlier this year, Kering Group (parent company to Saint Laurent and Brioni), announced it was going fur-free. Oscar de la Renta made the same decision back in August. And in June, Canada Goose, known widely for its fur trimmed-parkas, confirmed it will cease manufacturing with fur next year.
Claire Bass, HSI UK’s executive director, points out that, in the UK, there are only a handful of retailers (like Harvey Nichols and Harrods) that still sell fur. But it’s time they accept, like ELLE has, that “fur cruelty is a fashion faux pas.”