Nordstrom, one of the country’s largest luxury fashion retailers, will stop selling products made with fur and exotic animal skins at all of its U.S. locations by the end of next year.
Nordstrom joins a growing number of retailers like Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s that have announced fur-free policies in recent years and is the first U.S.-based retailer to also ban skins from exotic animals, including kangaroos, snakes and alligators. The policy will be implemented at all of the company's nearly 600 stores, including Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack and Last Chance, and its e-commerce sites, including HauteLook.com and TrunkClub.com.
The Humane Society of the United States worked with Nordstrom on this policy, and we applaud the company for this humane, forward-thinking decision that has the potential to positively impact so many animal lives. Fur production is a terrible global business that involves immense animal cruelty. As Humane Society International investigations of such farms have revealed, animals are bred and confined in small cages, bludgeoned to death and sometimes even skinned alive.
Nordstrom’s chief merchandizing officer, Teri Bariquit, called the decision to go fur-free part of the company’s ongoing product evolution. “As a leading fashion retailer, we’re committed to delivering the best possible service and merchandise for our customers. Delivering on that commitment means continually listening to customer feedback and evolving our product offering to ensure we’re meeting their needs,” she added.
The announcement from Nordstrom comes as France announced that it would end mink fur farming and require the remaining four fur farms in the country to be shut down no later than 2025. The move is one among many sweeping animal welfare reforms announced this morning by France's minister of ecological transition, Barbara Pompili. France will also end the use of wild animals in traveling circuses and keeping and breeding dolphins and killer whales in captivity in marine parks.
In recent years, leading fashion houses, including Prada and Gucci, have announced fur-free policies. A dozen European countries have banned fur production, and one U.S. state, California, has banned the sale of fur. Two more states, Rhode Island and Hawaii, have introduced legislation similar to the California law.
The coronavirus pandemic has given lawmakers another reason to end the abuse perpetrated for an unnecessary and unpopular product. After an outbreak on 57 Dutch mink farms, the Netherlands last month announced it was moving up a previously set deadline and will end all fur production on its soil by next year. Infected mink have also been found on farms in the United States, Denmark and Spain.
Consumers are increasingly revolted by fur and are turning away from it, and luxurious non-animal alternatives to fur are also now easily available. Last month, we reported that the U.S. fur industry had its worst year on record because of dropping demand. Today’s announcement from Nordstrom---which builds upon countless more from other retailers and fashion designers in recent years---further confirms that fur is headed toward certain demise. For us and for countless other animal advocates, that day can’t come soon enough.