The Hudson’s Bay Company, a retailer with deep roots in the fur trade, has officially stopped selling animal fur products. This decision marks a significant shift for North America’s oldest company, which dates back to two centuries before Canada was formed. The Toronto-based company’s entire portfolio is now fur-free, and other Hudson’s Bay-owned entities, Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks Off 5th, have also committed to going fur-free in 2021.
The fur trade has been an integral part of the Hudson’s Bay Company‘s history, as it began when French traders discovered a bounty of fur accessible through the inland sea of Hudson Bay. Over time, the business shifted to retail to accommodate clients who were increasingly keen to spend Gold Rush cash. The company made the fur-free decision in 2021 and stopped selling fur merchandise this month.
This change is a significant milestone for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which has been making substantial inroads in the fashion industry in recent years. Other major retailers like Macy’s and Nordstrom have gone fur-free, as well as designer brands like Diane von Furstenberg, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss, and others. Select luxury houses have also stopped selling fur, including Chanel, Versace, Valentino, and Gucci.
As the fashion industry evolves beyond killing animals for fur, there are numerous ethical and environmentally friendly alternatives available. Some examples include hemp, organic cotton, Tencel®, Spinnova®, soybean fiber, linen, bamboo, woocoa, and nullarbor. Innovations in bio-based fur, recycled denim fur, and recycled faux fur offer sustainable options for those seeking fur alternatives.
The Hudson’s Bay Company’s decision to go fur-free is a testament to the growing awareness and demand for ethical and sustainable fashion choices. As more companies follow suit, the fashion industry can continue to evolve towards a future that prioritizes the wellbeing of all animals and the environment.