Italian fashion house Gucci to stop using fur

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The luxury brand will also become part of the Fur Free Alliance, an global group which promotes animal welfare and fur alternatives in the fashion industry.

Major Italian fashion house Gucci will be going fur-free starting next year, according to CEO and president Marco Bizzarri.

Gucci's move follows a similar initiative by Italian rivals Armani, which past year pledged to drop fur from its collections.

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

Bizzarri said the new approach was made possible thanks to Gucci's creative director, Alessandro Michele, who was appointed in 2015.

"Armani's fur-free announcement makes it clear that designers and consumers can have creative freedom and luxury all without supporting animal cruelty", Fur Free Alliance Chairman Joh Vinding said.

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Gucci will become part of the Fur Free Alliance, an global group of more than 40 organisations which campaigns on animal welfare and promotes alternatives to fur in the fashion industry.

Several high profile fashion brands have long shunned fur, including Kering-owned Stella McCartney.

The company's chief executive, Marco Bizzarri, said the move to go fur free formed part of a commitment to "sustainability".

Animal rights campaigners called the move a "huge game changer".

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.

The Human Society said the fur-free policy includes mink, coyote, raccoon dog, fox, rabbit and astrakhan. The brand also announced that they will announce a charity auction of remaining animal fur items, with proceeds benefiting the aforementioned charities.

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