Hugo Boss is ridding itself of fur. After working with the Humane Society of the United States and the Fur-Free Alliance, the German luxury house announced Monday its decision to adopt a 100 percent fur-free policy, which will come into effect with its 2016 Fall/Winter collection. The company is also nixing angora and down feathers from force-fed, live-plucked geese. And while it currently only “prefers” wool suppliers that don’t practice “mulesing,” a controversial—and arguably ineffective—surgical operation that involves cutting away flaps of flesh from a sheep’s breech and tail to prevent infection from parasites, Hugo Boss says it hopes to be 90 percent mulesing-free by 2020.
“We have decided to adopt a different route and we are therefore giving our sustainable corporate strategy—in this case animal protection—precedence over the ‘fast’ and ‘simple’ route to success,” wrote Bernd Keller, brand and creative director of sportswear at Hugo Boss, in the company’s latest sustainability report. “We are delighted to embrace innovative challenges in relation to the planning and design of a collection.”
The firm intends to “inspire the present generation and especially the next generation with a new kind of luxury,” one that promotes humane alternatives made without animals, Keller added.
Hugo Boss’s decision has earned plaudits from animal-welfare activists, including Humane Society president and CEO Wayne Pacelle, who praised the firm for sparing “thousands of animals from needless suffering.”
“Replacing cruelty with sustainable innovations is the future of the fashion industry,” said Pacelle in a blog post. “Already, quality faux-fur alternatives are almost indistinguishable from the real thing. And the world’s leading fashion brands—from Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger to Stella McCartney and Ralph Lauren—increasingly want nothing to do with fur.”