Earlier this week, we joined Born Free USA, FOUR PAWS USA and Last Chance for Animals in a national campaign to persuade department store Dillard’s to go fur-free. Unlike its fur-free competitors Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, T.J. Maxx, Kohl’s, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, Dillard’s is selling fur on its website making it the last major U.S. department store still profiting from the unthinkably cruel fur trade.
The company has also been caught multiple times selling garments advertised and labeled as faux fur that were actually real animal fur—including fur from raccoon dogs, a species in the same animal family as domestic dogs. This led to Dillard's being named in three petitions filed before the Federal Trade Commission, a lawsuit before the D.C. Superior Court, and national television news coverage linking the company to false advertising and animal cruelty. Following this, Dillard’s adopted a policy in 2013 to no longer sell garments containing raccoon dog fur, but now we’re pressing the retailer to go further.
Many fashion brands and retailers we’ve worked with to go fur-free understand the importance and the benefit of aligning their policies with the values of their customers. Moving away from products like animal fur, which is linked to so much cruelty and death solely so Dillard’s can sell a pom on a shoe or a trim on a jacket, should be a no-brainer for companies, especially when alternatives to fur are readily available in stores and on the Dillard’s website.
As we’ve seen with other fur-free announcements, the positive feedback and goodwill that going fur-free promises to generate would certainly outweigh the small amount that Dillard’s receives from fur sales.
This is why Nordstrom’s stock went up after it announced it was going fur-free. It is also why financial institutions like ING and the International Finance Corporation no longer invest in the fur trade and why fashion brands like Gucci and Prada announce their fur-free policies proudly on social media. People care about animal welfare and want the companies they support to care, too.
It’s also just good business to steer clear of dwindling markets as legislation banning new fur sales continues to gain traction in animal-friendly cities and states nationwide. California, a state that has three Dillard’s locations and is poised to become the world’s fourth largest economy, banned fur sales in 2019, as have 13 municipalities across the U.S. with more likely to follow.
As Dillard’s prepares for its annual shareholder meeting in mid-May, we have an opportunity to speak out for the animals forced to spend their entire lives in small cages unable to run, swim or dig, and then to be violently killed for a Dillard’s fur product.
Follow Kitty Block on Twitter @HSUSKittyBlock.