The state of California is the fifth-largest economy in the world, so when it makes news in the business world, there are huge economic implications. And in the case of its newly enacted ban on fur retail, there are humane implications as well. Reuters reports that California has just passed a ban on fur sales and manufacture. The new law prohibits the commercial retail and donations of new fur products, reported CNN — with some caveats to the law as well.
Say goodbye to fur in the Golden State.
California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill last week, which will ban retailers from selling any product that contains new fur. According to CNN, "Those who violate the law would be subject to civil penalties."
This is a huge accomplishment, given Hollywood's historical relationship with the fur industry.
Fur is synonymous with old Hollywood. As the film industry grew, movie stars like Clara Bow (pictured), Hedy Lamarr, and Lana Turner wore fur coats and stoles, venerated as the essence of glamour. Their fur garments were signifiers of their newfound wealth and social cachet.
There are a few notable exemptions to the law.
The wording of law bans new fur. Secondhand fur will still be allowed to be sold, leaving vintage and consignment shops as one of the few fur retailers.
The law also exempts leather, cowhide, and curiously, shearling, which is not more humane than fur (lambs and goats are still slaughtered to produce shearling, which still has the skin attached to the wool).
There are religious exemptions, as well.
Fur that is produced as part of religious expression is exempt from California's fur ban, as are fur products used culturally by Native American tribes. The state of California has the largest population of Native American and Alaskan peoples, in addition to 109 federally recognized tribes, according to California's Tribal State Court.
Much of the luxury fashion industry is shying away from fur, but many designers still use fur.
Many fashion houses have gone fur-free, like Gucci, Prada, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, and Vivienne Westwood. Stella McCartney has long been animal cruelty–free; the designer even uses vegan leather for handbags and shoes.
Still, many brands still use real fur. The Row, designed by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen (pictured above), has been the target of many PETA protests. Other brands that use fur include Balenciaga, Dior, Marc Jacobs, and Alexander Wang.
The fur ban takes effect on January 1, 2023.
California's fur ban won't take effect until 2023, giving retailers, businesses, and producers time to comply with the new law. The ban includes clothing, handbags, shoes, and all other retail products. Soon, in the state of California, customers won't be able to purchase this Balenciaga coat (pictured above) or Canada Goose fox fur trim coats.