Gucci pledges to go fur

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Speaking at the 2017 Kering Talk at the London College of Fashion, the Italian luxury fashion brand's CEO, Marco Bizzarri, announced that starting with their spring/summer 2018 collection, Gucci will join the Fur-Free Alliance.

The new decision by Gucci comes after fellow Italian brand Armani announced in 2016 that it would no longer feature fur in its collections.

Gucci, part of Paris-based Kering luxury conglomerate, joins a number of other brands in the Fur Free Alliance, an worldwide group which campaigns on animal welfare and promotes alternatives to fur in the fashion industry.

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'Being socially responsible is one of Gucci's core values, and we will continue to strive to do better for the environment and animals, ' said Marco.

The luxury brand has previously used rabbit, mink, fox and racoon in its designs.

Mr Bizzarri attributed the decision to Gucci's creative director Alessandro Michele, who was appointed in 2015.

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Current Gucci fur items will be auctioned off, with proceeds benefiting LAV and the HSUS. The brand is also joining the Fur Free Alliance, which 'is an worldwide coalition of 40 animal protection organizations working together to end the exploitation and killing of animals for fur.' It is also auctioning off any fur products that it still owns, with proceeds going to an Italian animal rights group, LAV, and the Humane Society in the US.

Anti-fur campaigners say the move by these high-profile brands is a "huge game changer" in the fashion world.

Joh Vinding, the alliance's chairman, said: "Gucci is taking a bold stand for animals, showing the world that the future of fashion is fur-free".

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While fur farms were banned in the United Kingdom in 2003 due to cruelty concerns, foreign farmed fur is still imported into the United Kingdom from countries with lower animal welfare standards.

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