Harvey Nichols’ Major Fashion Faux Pas
UPDATE: Fashion director, Paula Reed, has now resigned.
After receiving confirmation in a meeting with Harvey Nichols that Reed was singlehandedly responsible for breaking the department store’s strict decade-long policy against selling fur, we hope her resignation will pave the way for the reinstatement of the store’s previous, well-respected policy. Please continue to take action, and we will update you here with any more news.
For almost a decade, Harvey Nichols has been one of the good guys – ever since pressure from PETA and compassionate consumers persuaded the company to banish fur from all its UK outlets in 2004. But now with the arrival of its new fashion director, Paula Reed, the department store has taken a huge step backwards by resuming its sale of fur items.
Harvey Nichols’s autumn-winter collection features items trimmed with the skins of foxes, rabbits and raccoons – animals who most likely spent their short lives pacing up and down in too-small cages and slowly going insane before being gassed or anally electrocuted for the fur trade.
It’s common knowledge that the International Fur Trade Federation’s “Origin Assured” fur scheme is a farce. It claims to source fur only from countries with “high-welfare” standards – but investigations have repeatedly shown that fur farms in these countries are in fact guilty of the most shocking cruelty. Here’s an upsetting example from Finland:
We can’t understand why Harvey Nichols has decided to renege on its fur-free policy, especially when 95 per cent of Britons have said they would never wear real fur and designers ranging from Calvin Klein to Stella McCartney refuse to use the inhumane product. In 2013 alone, celebrities such as Alexandra Burke, Dionne Bromfield, Gemma Collins, Rylan Clark and Imelda May, have teamed up with PETA to express their disgust at fur. It’s clear to anyone with an iota of compassion that draping oneself in dead animal skins will never be in fashion.
The fur industry has been resorting to ever-more desperate measures to combat against its growing irrelevance. These include making spurious environmental claims and attempting to bribe up-and-coming designers in an effort to get them to use fur – for example, by giving away free animal skins to students. We were recently contacted by one fashion student who was deeply distressed that her university fashion show was being sponsored by a fur company, leaving students who care about animals in a difficult position.
Fortunately, given the groundswell of support from compassionate people in this country and beyond who have no desire to clothe themselves in a product of cruelty, these underhand tactics are unlikely to succeed, especially if we have the courage to speak out.
By choosing to sell fur again, Harvey Nichols has demonstrated that it’s truly out of touch with public sentiment – and with your help, we’ll make sure that its directors know it. Please spare a moment for the foxes, rabbits and racoons used for fur by writing to Paula Reed and asking her to reinstate the company’s fur-free policy.