Columbus, OH – The Columbus Fashion Council is taking a stand against the use of animal fur in fashion and will no longer allow the use of fur products in the council’s events, including the upcoming annual event, Fashion Week Columbus 2023. Fashion Week Columbus, which launches on September 24, is the first fashion week in the U.S. to adopt a public fur-free policy joining fur-free fashion weeks in Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Melbourne and Perth. The policy was forged in collaboration with the Humane Society of the United States.

In recent years, hundreds of fashion brands and retailers across the U.S. and internationally, including Gucci, Armani, Prada, Chanel, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s and Nordstrom, have announced fur-free policies. Fourteen municipalities in the U.S. and the state of California have passed legislation ending the sale of new fur products. Just last month, Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y.-13, introduced a bill to phase out mink production in the U.S. The European Commission is currently reviewing a petition to end all fur farming and fur sales throughout Europe. Fur farming is banned in 19 countries, including Norway, France, Italy, Belgium, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Latvia. 

“It is time for the Columbus Fashion Council and fashion councils across the U.S. to do their part to help with this important animal welfare effort,” said Lubna Najjar, President of the Columbus Fashion Council. “We must no longer make excuses for the use of animal fur when we know the extreme costs behind it, including to animals, humans, and the environment. By no longer allowing the use of new fur products in our events, the Columbus Fashion Council can help end the suffering of millions of animals while also supporting innovation into new humane and eco-friendly materials. We are excited to kick off this new policy ahead of our annual Fashion Week Columbus this September.”

“More than 100 million animals are killed every year solely for their fur, with over 90% being killed on large-scale fur factory farms,” said Keira Chatman, Executive Director of the Columbus Fashion Council. “As one of the largest fashion weeks in the United States, it is our responsibility to take a formal stand against this practice.”

“We applaud the Columbus Fashion Council for its leadership in declaring Fashion Week Columbus the first in the U.S. to officially go fur-free,” said Mark Finneran, Ohio state director for the Humane Society of the United States. “The fur trade causes immense cruelty and harm to animals and the planet, and with its fur-free policy, Columbus Fashion Council is doing its part to help make compassion fashionable.”

Fashion Week Columbus is the flagship program of the Columbus Fashion Council which produces a full week of fashion shows and fashion-related programs in Central Ohio showcasing emerging fashion designers. Find out more about this year’s events at


About Columbus Fashion Council

As a non-profit 501(c)(3) status organization, the Columbus Fashion Council’s mission is to provide scholarships to fashion design students and a platform for local fashion designers. Our vision is to expand the fashion economy in Central Ohio through a combination of industry growth initiatives, community organizations support, funding access opportunities, and creative program development. We strive to nurture and develop the fashion community to keep our fashion talent living and working in Central Ohio. Signature events include Fashion Week Columbus, The Fashion Industry Conference, Columbus Fashion Awards, a variety of live and virtual fashion industry mixers, fashion presentations, and more. The Columbus Fashion Council is proud to be a founding member of the CFDA Connects Program, along with ten other influential fashion organizations from around the country.

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