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June 11, 2009

Parsons Teams Up with The HSUS to Launch Educational Initiative About Fur

The Humane Society of the United States

WASHINGTON — The Humane Society of the United States and Parsons The New School for Design have announced that beginning in the 2009 academic year, experts from The HSUS will engage Parsons' fashion design and fashion marketing students on issues associated with apparel that uses animal fur, including animal cruelty, advertising and labeling issues and environmental impacts.

Sustainability and conscientious consumerism are at the forefront of fashion industry dialogue and The HSUS anticipates that by providing students with both a local and global perspective of the problems within the animal fur trade, they will be better equipped to make informed decisions about whether to use animal fur in their designs.

"We encourage our students to consider the global impact of the apparel industry and with this we have an obligation to educate them on the treatment of animals," said Simon Collins, dean of fashion for Parsons The New School for Design. "By partnering with The Humane Society of the United States, we are providing our students with the tools to make thoughtful decisions about the materials they use during their career."

"We are pleased to have this opportunity to discuss the many issues and problems of the fur trade with the next generation of designers," said Andrew Page, senior director of the Fur-Free Campaign for The HSUS. "We think that after learning about the cruelty, environmental impacts and mislabeling issues, designers will choose alternatives to fur."

The HSUS is currently promoting more than 140 fur-free retailers and designers online at humanesociety.org/furfreeshopping.

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.

A pioneer in art and design education for more than a century, Parsons The New School for Design is one of the most prestigious and comprehensive institutions of art and design in the nation. With the launch of the first fashion design program in America in 1906, Parsons is credited with giving birth to Seventh Avenue, the epicenter of American fashion. Parsons offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and Associate Degrees in Fashion Studies and Fashion Marketing, and in 2010 expects to launch a Master of Fine Arts Program in Fashion Design and Society that was initiated through an endowed professorship by Parsons alumna Donna Karan. Parsons has educated a who's who list of the fashion industry, including design legends Adrian, Claire McCardell and Norman Norell; industry leaders Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan, Isaac Mizrahi, Narciso Rodriguez and Anna Sui; and rising talents Chris Benz, Doo-Ri Chung, Derek Lam, Thakoon Paniguchal, Proenza Schouler, Behnaz Sarafpour, Peter Som, Vena Cava, Alexander Wang, and Jason Wu. For more information, visit parsons.newschool.edu.

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