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California is the first state in the U.S. to ban the sale of animal fur products.
Following city-wide bans in both San Francisco and Los Angeles, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a package of bills over the weekend to fight animal cruelty in The Golden State, including AB44 outlawing the sale, manufacture, and donation of fur clothing and accessories. “California is a leader when it comes to animal welfare and today that leadership includes banning the sale of fur,” Newsom said in a statement obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle.
The bill reportedly applies to all new clothing, handbags, and shoes made of fur. It excludes used fur and taxidermy products, as well as leather, cowhide and shearling. Furs used for religious reasons or used by Native American tribes are also exempt, according to CNN. Violators of the ban, which goes into effect January 2023, will be subject to fines.
The ban comes on the heels of a larger movement in the fashion industry to phase out furs, including pledges from Chanel, Gucci, Burberry, and DVF. Chanel's president, Bruno Pavlovski, recently told WWD that the luxury behemoth would “no longer use exotic skins in our future creations,” adding, “The future of high-end products will come from the know-how of what our atelier is able to do.”
Coach is another brand to go fur-free, announcing back in October 2018 that it would no longer sell mink, coyote, fox, and rabbit furs. “We understood from our employee population and from our consumers that it was important to them that we take a stand on this issue,” Coach CEO Joshua Schulman told Business of Fashion. “We’re doing it because we believe it’s the right thing to do.” PETA, however, is also calling for Coach to ban the use of mohair and angora wool.
Tracy Reiman, Executive Vice President of PETA, released a statement calling the California ban a “historic day for animals in California, including those who have been whipped into performing in circuses, or skinned alive for their fur or skin,” adding, “PETA is proud to have worked with compassionate legislators to push these lifesaving laws forward and looks to other states to follow California's progressive lead.”