Tuesday, October 23, 2007

New Global Network Against the Fur Industry

There is a new international network of organizations against fur, which includes groups and individual activists from the animal rights/liberation movements from various countries: Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom.

It is called Global Network Against the Fur Industry, it was formed this autumn and it’s started its activity with a campaign against the ESCADA group.

Escada is a high fashion international company, with headquarters in Aschheim/Munich, Germany. It is involved in many stages of the process of fur garments production and sales: from designing its own collections to producing them in its own factories, to selling them in its own shops, in shop-in-shops and in concessions in department stores.

The ESCADA Group owns a sussidiary company called Primera, which in turn owns other brands: apriori, BiBA, cavita and Laurèl. All these companies and brands use fur for their collections.

There are 240 ESCADA stores all over the world, mainly in Europe (130), Asia (86) and North America (25), with a few in South America, Africa, Australia. In addition, there are the stores of other brands owned by the company: almost 400 stores, mostly in Europe but also worldwide.

The choice of ESCADA as a target is due to the fact that this is a company which has a huge influence on the catwalks of the world; if Escada stops using fur, this will send a signal to the fashion industry as a whole.

The Global Network Against the Fur Industry has organized a first weekend of international action against ESCADA’s fur trade on 12th – 14th October 2007. Many protests have taken places worldwide.

In Florence, the Escada store remained closed all day on Sunday 14th October, to avoid bad publicity in view of the protest, with consequent loss of revenue. As a result, the campaigners moved their protest to a department store, COIN, to force them to stop selling fur following the example of two other major Italian department stores chains, La Rinascente and UPIM.

The ZARA, Guess, H&M campaigns show how important global cooperation of anti-fur organizations is and how effective it can be in changing the policies of major retail groups.

Visit the Global Network Against the Fur Industry new website.

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