California becomes first US state to ban the sale of fur

Despite bid to remove fur from the US retail industry, demand continues to rise

California has become the first US state to ban the sale and manufacturer of fur, despite a growing demand for these animal products.

Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 44, which could see retailers and manufacturers fined $1,000 if they sell, donate or manufacture new fur products in the state. The law will go into effect on January 1, 2023.

This news follows Macy’s announcement that it would stop selling real fur at its department stores by the end of 2020’s fiscal year. The chain said that new fabric technologies such as faux fur will enable a “seamless transition” for their customers.

Numerous fashion designers have also announced they will stop working with animal fur, including Versace, Gucci and Giorgio Armani.

Despite the growing movement to remove fur from the retail industry, US production reached $531m in 2018 - the highest level in 17 years - according to market research firm Euromonitor International.

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While California is the first US state to prohibit the sale and manufacturing of fur, San Francisco and Los Angeles announced a ban last year, and New York City is considering doing the same.

It’s not just the US taking a stand. The UK was the first country to ban fur farming and others have followed suit, including Japan, Belgium, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Norway, Luxembourg and Serbia.

California is an important retail market, so whether Newsom’s ban impacts the US consumer’s thirst for fur remains to be seen.

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