New York City Mulls Fur Sales Ban

fur apparel

Following the lead of other municipalities, New York City could be going fur-free with a proposed law on the horizon. Council Speaker Corey Johnson recently introduced a bill to ban companies from selling fur apparel in the city, which comes after similar efforts in cities such as West Hollywood, Calif., Footwear News reported.

“In a progressive and modern city like New York, banning the sale of fur clothing and accessories is long overdue,” Johnson said in a statement, according to the outlet. “Saying no to fur is fashionable and a symbol of progress. This proposal is about protecting animals and their unnecessary killing.”

In 2013, a ban came into place in West Hollywood, Calif. that was geared toward “wearing apparel” such as boots, shoes, gloves and hats but not jewelry or handbags. The municipality’s view of a “fur product” also banned the sale of items like sheepskin accessories. Two other cities in California — San Francisco and Berkeley — have also passed similar laws.

In the case of New York City, under the proposed law, a fine would range from $500 to $1,500 for businesses selling fur. Opponents contend that such a ban would take away jobs, make residents give up their livelihoods or move and leave empty stores behind. As it stands, industry estimates suggest the city has 130 companies that mainly sell fur.

However, fashion brands that have gone fur-free are on the uptick in recent times and additional companies could follow that trend in the event it becomes more difficult to sell products in places such as New York City. As it stands, there has been something akin to an explosion in the market for vegan clothing in the world of fashion. Searches for “vegan clothes” were up 25 percent during the last half decade as of 2017. The broader category of “ethical fashions” has risen by a whopping 66 percent.

While niche players such as cruelty-free women’s contemporary luxury clothing line Delikate Rayne have filled out the high-end parts of the spectrum, the movement has been becoming more mainstream. Middle market-facing labels such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Anthropologie are offering items with vegan “leather belts.”