Italian fashion house Gucci has announced it will stop using fur from next year.
The company’s chief executive, Marco Bizzarri, said the move to go fur free formed part of a commitment to “sustainability”.
Mr Bizzarri said: “Being socially responsible is one of Gucci’s core values, and we will continue to strive to do better for the environment and animals.”
The luxury designer brand said the changes will take place from their spring-summer 2018 collection. It follows the decision of its Italian fashion rival Armani.
Anti-fur campaigners say the move by these high-profile brands is a “huge game changer” in the fashion world.
Kitty Block, president of Humane Society International, said: “For this powerhouse to end the use of fur because of the cruelty involved will have a huge ripple effect throughout the world of fashion.
“A staggering 100 million animals a year still suffer for the fur industry, but that can only be sustained for as long as designers continue to use fur and consumers purchase it.”
Gucci’s remaining animal fur items will be sold at auction, with the proceeds going to animal rights organisations Humane Society International and LAV.
While fur farms were banned in the UK in 2003 due to cruelty concerns, foreign farmed fur is still imported into the UK from countries with lower animal welfare standards.
In fact, mass farmed fur from Asia can now be produced so cheaply that it has been mislabelled as synthetic.
In April, a Sky News Investigation with Humane Society International found four types of animal fur being sold on the British high street – but marketed to shoppers as fake fur.
A fibres expert identified items which were most consistent with rabbit, raccoon dog, mink and cat being missold to consumers as faux fur.
The investigation found real animal fur being sold in House of Fraser and fast fashion outlet Missguided – despite both retailers having fur-free policies.
Gucci will now become part of the Fur Free Alliance – an international group of organisations that campaign about animal welfare and promote alternatives to fur in the fashion industry.
(c) Sky News 2017: Italian fashion house Gucci commits to ‘sustainable’ fur-free future