Rome, October 13 - Italian fashion house Gucci is to follow in the footsteps of Giorgio Armani, Hugo Boss, Stella McCartney, Yoox Net-a-Porter, Cos, H&M, OVS and Zara and go fur-free next year, according to president and CEO Marco Bizzarri. The company will stop using animal fur in its collections as of spring/summer 2018, Bizzarri said during Kering Talk 2017 at the London College of Fashion. Kering is the international luxury group of which Gucci is a subsidiary. The CEO said animal fur has gone "out of fashion" and reiterated Gucci's "absolute commitment to making sustainability an intrinsic part of our business". He also pledged to donate revenue from sales of its remaining fur items to animal rights associations such as Humane Society International (HSI) and Italy's Anti-vivisection League (LAV). Kitty Block, president of HSI, welcomed the move as a "compassionate decision". "Gucci going fur-free is a huge game-changer," she said in a statement. "For this Italian powerhouse to end the use of fur because of the cruelty involved will have a huge ripple effect throughout the world of fashion". "Respect for animals is increasingly rooted in people's values and the big names in fashion are gradually introducing policies of social responsibility in this direction," echoed Simone Pavesi of LAV. Carla Rocchi, president of the National League for Animal Protection (ENPA), expressed her "gratitude" to Gucci after writing to Bizzarri in August to call for an end to the use of fur. On that occasion she raised the problem of Finnish fur farms that are reportedly breeding arctic foxes to an unhealthy size. Kering Talk 2017 is a five-year collaboration between the Kering Group and the London College of Fashion. It includes an annual Award for Sustainable Fashion for young talent. This year the award went to Laure Fernandez, Charlie Wilkinson, Dianjen Lin and Jennifer Kusowski, who will perform internships with Gucci and Stella McCartney, another brand owned by the Kering Group.
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