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Businessweek
The Year Ahead

Fur Industry Hopes Certification Will Help It Shed Its Inhumane Image

A new global program will try to reassure buyers increasingly concerned about animal suffering and ostentatious displays of wealth.
The removable fur trim hood of a Canada Goose jacket.

The removable fur trim hood of a Canada Goose jacket.

Photographer: Joanna McClure for Bloomberg Businessweek

Few products have suffered a bigger image implosion than fur. Once a status symbol for the rich, rock stars, and royalty, it’s increasingly become stigmatized, a fashion fail synonymous with animal suffering and the ostentatious display of wealth.

And yet, through decades of public protests, corporate boycotts, and vegan activism, the industry has lumbered on, thanks to Chinese mink shoppers and the global trend of fur trimmings on arctic anorak hoods. Now the $25 billion industry is seeking redemption, arguing that fur has its rightful place in the era of sustainability and careful consumption.