Chipping Norton, United Kingdom – Elle magazine
announced on Thursday it will stop using fur in all its editorial and
advertising content worldwide, becoming the first major publication to do so.
The monthly lifestyle magazine, which originated in France and is owned by
French media group Lagardere, comes out in 45 different editions around the
It has some 33 million readers from Mexico to Japan, with 100 million
monthly online visitors.
But Elle’s international director Valeria Bessolo Llopiz told a conference
organised by The Business of Fashion publication that fur was no longer
“The presence of animal fur in our pages and on our digital media is no
longer in line with our values, nor our readers,” she said.
“It is time for Elle to make a statement … rejecting animal cruelty,” she
told delegates in Chipping Norton, in Oxfordshire, southern England.
Instead, she said the magazine wanted to “increase awareness for animal
welfare” and “foster a more humane fashion industry”.
The magazine has signed an undertaking to drop fur that is already in force
in 13 of its editions.
Twenty more will impose the measure from January 1, 2022 and the rest will
start a year later.
Welcoming Elle’s decision, PJ Smith, director of fashion policy for the
Humane Society of the United States, said he looked forward to other fashion
magazines following suit.
“This announcement will ignite positive change throughout the entire
fashion industry and has the potential to save countless animals from a life
of suffering and a cruel death,” he told the conference.
“Fur promotions belong only in the back copies of fashion magazines from
days gone by,” the UK director of animal rights organisation PETA, Elisa
Allen, told AFP.
She welcomed decisions by publications including British Vogue, InStyle
USA, Cosmopolitan UK, and the newly launched Vogue Scandinavia for rejecting
fur on their editorial pages and expects the move to soon extend to
The decision comes as the fashion industry has faced pressure from animal
rights activists to stop the use of real fur on humane grounds and mounting
Smaller fashion weeks held in cities such as Amsterdam, Oslo, Melbourne and
Helsinki have all banned fur but larger ones in Paris, Milan and New York
leave it up to designers.
Many big names have already chosen not to do so.
They include Gucci, Versace and Prada, Burberry, Vivienne Westwood and
Alexander McQueen, Donna Karan, DKNY and Michael Kors, as well as Jean-Paul
Gaultier and Balenciaga.
A 2020 YouGov survey found that 93 percent of British people refuse to wear
natural fur while another by Research Co suggested that in the United States,
71 percent opposed killing animals for their fur.
In Europe, an FOP poll indicated that 90 percent of French opposed the fur
trade, while 86 percent of Italians expressed opposition in a 2019 survey by
In a German poll by Kantar in 2020, 84 percent said cruelty towards animals
and killing them for their fur was unacceptable.
Israel in June became the world’s first country to ban selling fur to the
The fur industry itself argues that its natural product is being replaced
with synthetic fur made with plastics that damage the environment.
In November, French furriers wrote an open letter to Vogue magazine
claiming it was “absurd” to present “plastic” garments as environmentally
friendly, when they contain acrylic and modacrylic fibres.
The group has complained of a “climate of fear” created by protesters,
which has encouraged designers to drop fur from shows and discouraged
fashionistas from wearing it.
While fake fur coats are often made from polyester, which takes hundreds of
years to biodegrade, some designers such as Britain’s Stella McCartney opt for
Others use natural fibres such as wool and feathers to mimic the appearance