L.A. follows in the wake of West Hollywood (which is its own city), Berkeley and San Francisco, which have also gone fur-free. The ban is scheduled to begin starting in 2021. Though, there is still a chance it could be overruled before Mayor Eric Garcetti signs it since the vote was not unanimous and there will still be a second procedural vote. If Garcetti does end up signing it, the only furs that will be legal to purchase in Los Angeles are at secondhand stores. (Pelts for taxidermy will still be allowed, as well as fur from animals that were legally trapped with a license.)
Despite the likelihood of L.A. going fur-free, there are still two sides of the debate. Obviously organizations that advocate for animal rights are in favor of it, such as Animal Defenders International. One member of the organization, Patty Shenker, told the Los Angeles Times, “Animals are not fabric — they are sentient beings who suffer terribly. And we must include them in our moral compass.” Though others worry that banning fur will just strengthen the black market, which has no regulations as far as humane fur picking goes. Of course, one might wonder how often fur is actually needed in a relatively warm city like Los Angeles in the first place.
Though, the vote comes at a time when even the fashion industry is moving away from using fur. Over the past few years, Burberry has gone fur-free, Tom Ford has banned some animal products like mink and sable but continues to use skins that are “food byproducts” like leather and shearling. Meanwhile, Chanel has banned exotic animal skins and Gucci, Michael Kors and Versace are now part of a growing trend that uses faux furs in lieu of the real thing. Maison Margiela’s John Galliano has also banned fur at the fashion house, in his own personal journey towards eliminating animal products from his life and diet. As Galliano put it, “[The real luxury today] is authenticity and inventiveness. You can be outrageous and fun without fur! Come and party with us, you’ll see!”