Saks Fifth Avenue Going Fur-Free!
Saks Fifth Avenue is the latest luxury retailer to ditch fur. | John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images

Saks Fifth Avenue Going Fur-Free!

The department store chain committed to going fur-free by the end 2022 in response to consumer demand.

Saks Fifth Avenue is the latest luxury fashion brand to go fur-free.

The department store chain committed to phasing out the use of animal-derived fur in its products by the end of fiscal 2022. The new fur-free policy will apply to both its brand partner and private label products sold in stores and online. 

The company also committed to closing all of its fur salons by the end of fiscal 2021.

“With this commitment, we will no longer offer products from animals raised for the use of their fur, including but not limited to mink, fox, chinchilla and sable, as well as fur products derived from wild animals, such as coyote and beaver,” a statement by the brand notes.

In a press release, the company’s chief merchandising officer, Tracy Margolies, noted that changing “customer preferences and societal shifts” contributed to Saks Fifth Avenue’s decision to no longer use fur.

“We recognize that trends constantly evolve, and that the sale of fur remains a significant social issue. As such, eliminating it from our assortment is the right step for us to take at this time,” she said.

Saks will continue to sell products made with other non-fur, animal-derived materials. These include shearling, cattle hide, leather, goatskin, and down.

Saks Fifth Avenue Going Fur-Free!
Saks Fifth Avenue committed to phasing out the use of animal-derived fur in its products by the end of fiscal 2022. | Melissa Renwick/Toronto Star via Getty Images, Photo by Victor Chavez/WireImage

Luxury Brands Ditch Fur

Saks Fifth Avenue isn’t the first department store chain to go fur-free. Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, and Selfridges have all banned fur.

The growing awareness of the fur industry’s impact on animal welfare and the environment has shifted public opinion away from fur. And as a result, luxury fashion brands are moving away from animal pelts.

Last month, two more Kering-owned fashion brands—Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga—went fur-free, joining the likes of Bottega Veneta and Gucci.

The French luxury group announced its new fur-free policy in its 2020 Universal Registration document. “Most of the Group’s Houses do not use fur,” the company wrote. “Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, and MCQ also no longer use fur in their collections.” 

A number of brands have already gone fur-free. These include Versace, Armani, Jimmy Choo, Michael Kors, Prada, Chanel, DKNY, Burberry, and Giorgio Armani. The latter ditched fur back in 2016. 

“Technological progress made over the years allows us to have valid alternatives at our disposition that render the use of cruel practices unnecessary as regards animals,” Armani said in a statement.

He added that the company had made a major step in “reflecting [the company’s] attention to the critical issues of protecting and caring for the environment and animals.”

In February 2021, Adidas became the 1500th company to join the Fur Free Alliance’s Fur Free Retailer program. Members include Zara, North Face, Lacoste, the Prada Group, and Marks & Spencers.