Top fashion school ends partnership with fur companies to focus on animal-free alternatives

Read Time:   |  2nd March 2017

A top fashion school, Parsons School of Design in New York City, has cut ties with fur companies, opting instead to focus efforts on teaching “alternative methods to using animal products”.

Parsons School of Design in New York City has ended a nearly 15-year partnership with Finland-based Saga Furs, through which it had promoted career opportunities and fur-industry information, and is no longer continuing sponsorships with other companies in the industry. It will no longer offer any incentives for students to use fur in their designs.

The shift toward a cruelty-free perspective on fashion is an initiative of the school’s dean of fashion, Burak Cakmak, who took the helm in 2015, bringing with him a background in sustainable and environmental practices through positions at Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Stella McCartney, and other luxury brands.

“As a leader in design education, Parsons School of Design is proud to teach our students alternative methods to using animal products,” Cakmak told Yahoo Style through an exclusive statement. “Sustainability is a core component of our curriculum. We are teaching the future leaders of the fashion industry that they can have a positive impact on the environment by not using animal products, and still create beautiful designs.”

Designer Todd Oldham (far right) spoke about vegan fashion at Parsons recently, with (from left) Dan Mathews of PETA, Parsons instructor and vegan fashion expert Joshua Katcher, and business partner Tony Longoria. (Photo: PETA)

As far as proactive efforts go, Parsons is also hosting a series of joint events with PETA, the first of which was a Feb. 21 panel discussion, featuring Todd Oldham, on the topic of vegan and sustainable design.

Oldham also addressed the issue of cruelty-free fashion in a video for his recent retrospective at the Rhode Island School of Design, noting, “whenever you see a chinchilla coat, you’re watching a bloodbath, [as] there can be anywhere from 80 to 200 chinchillas involved in a coat.” He’s just one of many designers who have pledged to create compassionate designs, as Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, and Vivienne Westwood have all agreed to go fur-free.

Source: Yahoo Beauty. 

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