Last week, the New York City Council proposed a bill that would ban the sale of fur apparel, following in the footsteps of cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and São Paulo. The proposal has since moved onto the Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing to be discussed further, WWD reports.
If the bill passes, it would have a huge impact on the fur industry, considering New York City is the largest domestic market for fur in the United States. Around 130 businesses and somewhere around 1,100 people count on fur for their livelihood. The potential human impact of the bill has been a key point argued by the International Fur Federation.
“It’s shocking that they would want to do this. These are people’s jobs. These people are fourth, fifth-generation furriers. They’ve been good, tax-paying citizens for a very long time. They want to feed their families,” Nancy Daigneault, vice president of the International Fur Federation, told Hypebeast.
If the bill passes, retailers are looking at fines ranging from $500 for a first-time violation to $1,500 for any subsequent violations. Fur apparel that is being sold could be seized and forfeited. The council members proposing the bill are Council Speaker Corey Johnson, and City Council members Mark Levine, Helen Rosenthal, Fernando Cabrera, Justin Brannan, and Robert Holden.
At last Thursday’s general meeting, Johnson talked about the designers who have banned fur, from Donatella Versace to Diane von Furstenberg. “As an animal lover, I think it is cruel to kill an animal for the sole purpose of people wearing a fur coat. In a progressive city like ours, we need to take steps to protect animals. This proposal reflects an ever-growing consensus in the fashion industry that the use of fur is not ethical,” he said.