California Sets a Precedent as the First State to Ban the Sale of Fur

An exciting new law is being implemented in the state of California. It’s a bill that strictly prohibits the selling of fur products, and applies to coats and handbags alike, as well as anything “with hair, fleece or fur fibers attached thereto.” The selling, trading, displaying, or donating of fur will officially become an illegal practice in the state as of the start of 2023 – hooray!

California Sets a Precedent as the First State to Ban the Sale of Fur 7
Image: Genius

There are exceptions, however, to be aware of. Fur used for traditional or religious ceremonies will not be treated the same, neither will deerskin, cowhide, goatskin, and sheepskin. But the likes of mink, sable, chinchilla, lynx, fox, rabbit, beaver, coyote, and other rarer or “luxury” furs will be prohibited. It won’t be illegal to wear fur, so it will have to have been bought outside of CA or acquired previously.

The Time Is Now

Bans have been springing up in various cities, namely Los Angeles, Berkeley, and San Francisco. There were even talks about bringing a state-wide ban to New York and Hawaii, but California’s gotten there first. And the conversation isn’t exclusive to the U.S., with various European countries like Serbia, Norway, and the United Kingdom have already banned the farming of fur products.

California Sets a Precedent as the First State to Ban the Sale of Fur 1 Featured
Image: CNN

After all, the topic of animal welfare is gaining more traction in recent years as consumers, and society as a whole is being more responsible about the suffering that is perpetuated through bad buying habits. People are being more proactive about holding corporations and companies accountable for their impact on the earth.

The Luxury Fashion Industry Adapts

As an industry that is known for exacerbating the fur production situation, it too is adapting to the times. Real fur is becoming a much-ostracized material, with many of the top couture brands already cutting it from their production. Gucci, Versace, Armani, Calvin Klein, Givenchy, Hugo Boss, Tom Ford, Burberry, Jimmy Choo, and Ralph Lauren are among the more “conscious” luxury brands.

California Sets a Precedent as the First State to Ban the Sale of Fur 3
Image: The Hollywood Reporter

After much protesting from anti-fur and animal welfare groups, London Fashion week succumbed to the pressure and went fur-free in 2018. It’s the first of the major fashion weeks to do so after the number of protesters increased by ten times from 2016 to 2017. It even reached the British Parliament, sparking a debate about whether importing fur should be made illegal. Finally, the problematic fashion industry is listening.

Concern about petroleum-based alternatives

Alternatives to real fur have hit the market but are triggering more debates about materials used. Currently, petroleum-based synthetic materials are mainly used to replace the fur, which is currently not recyclable and adds to landfill waste. As well as this, the microplastic and chemical particles are toxic to wildlife and likely find their way into the food chain and water supplies.

California Sets a Precedent as the First State to Ban the Sale of Fur 4
Image: Tatler

As an alternative to the alternative, other options could be explored such as Pinatex and pineapple leaf fibers. Also Modern Meadow, a derivative of yeast that creates a leather-like material, or MycoWorks, another bio-fabricated leather created from mushrooms. Hopefully, the future holds more exciting and ecologically-friendly alternatives. And banning fur sales in one high-profile U.S. state is a step in the right direction.