Newsmaker: Los Angeles Moves to Become the Largest U.S. City to Ban Fur Sales

With major design houses such as Chanel, Versace and Michael Kors abandoning the use of fur in their collections, the legislative movement toward prohibiting the sale of these controversial garments gained a lot of ground in California during 2018.

Following the lead of West Hollywood and Berkeley, Calif., San Francisco implemented its own ban on the sale of fur products in March 2018.

By June, three members of the Los Angeles City Council signed a motion to ban the sale of fur in the city, with Councilmember Paul Koretz serving as the bill’s sponsor.

On Sept. 18, the motion to draft a fur-ban ordinance was approved by a 12–0 vote. With this move, Los Angeles could become the largest city in the United States to ban the sale of fur, which includes its use in clothing, hats, handbags and footwear. Once drafted, the city council will vote on the ordinance.

Following his victory, Koretz attempted to reassure the local fashion industry and urged other cities around the country to follow suit.

“It will disrupt the industry, but we’re going to make the transition as smooth as possible,” Koretz told the California Apparel News in September. “Los Angeles is one of the fashion capitals of the world. If you can do it here, you can do it anywhere. We hope that New York, Chicago and Miami are watching.”

Opponents to the fur ban cited environmental and economic threats they felt could stem from the ordinance. They also believed the ban could affect the local economy by eliminating thousands of jobs. Others felt the ban was simply an infringement on the rights of citizens to make purchasing decisions.

“It is more extensive than people think. The basic core issue gets down to freedom of choice,” Keith Kaplan, director of communications for the Fur Information Council of America told the California Apparel News. “You can be sure of this. If [anti-fur groups] are successful at using cities like Los Angeles to put an end to fur, what will be next? Leather? Wool? Silk? Meat?”

The ban does not include secondhand or vintage fur products. It would go into effect Jan. 1, 2021.