The Neiman Marcus Group will discontinue selling any products containing animal fur by early 2023.
The new policy eliminates animal fur products from the Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman stores and websites and calls for shutting down the fur salons at both divisions. Neiman Marcus has 21 fur salons in stores; Bergdorf’s has one fur salon.
The change follows the company’s recent announcement that it created a team to “identify, improve and disclose performance on material environmental, social and governance [or ESG] issues,” including topics like animal welfare and to emphasize presenting sustainable and ethical products.
NMG’s actions on fur also follow decisions by several other retailers over the last few seasons to ban fur, including Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, as well as Nordstrom, and just last week, Holt Renfrew in Canada, which both decided to eliminate fur as well as exotic skins. Several other luxury brands and designers have already decided to forgo fur, among them Prada, Gucci, Burberry and Chanel. Most recently, outerwear brand Canada Goose revealed plans to eliminate all fur from its products, sparking criticism from the International Fur Federation.
At the Neiman Marcus Group, “We are delivering an ultimate luxury experience for our customers and their evolving preferences. We are updating our assortment to feature multiple sustainable and ethical luxury fashion categories,” said Geoffroy van Raemdonck, NMG’s chief executive officer. “It is clear the future is fur-free, and that includes the ultra-luxury space. As a leader in luxury retail, NMG has an opportunity to help build a better future for our industry. We’re grateful to the Humane Society of the United States for their partnership.”
The company worked with the Humane Society of the United States on its commitment to exit fur and drafted an “animal welfare policy” that aligns with the guidelines of the Fur Free Alliance.
“We welcome this important policy from Neiman Marcus Group,” said PJ Smith, director of Fashion Policy for the Humane Society of the United States. “The company’s fur-free pledge represents a transformational change in retail, and we applaud NMG for making progress on an issue that so many consumers care deeply about.”
Neiman Marcus Group has had a significant fur business. Asked how the company will fill the void that will be left behind, particularly in outerwear and some accessories and trims on garments, NMG issued a statement to WWD, indicating, “While we are stepping away from our fur business and products using fur, we will continue to evaluate the business and the needs of our customers and work toward curating a sustainable and ethical assortment of products. NMG will continue to sell products made from synthetic, faux fur materials, as well as traditional animal fabrics like cashmere, leather, mohair, down, wool and silk. We will also continue to monitor animal welfare concerns associated with these materials and work with brand partners to promote best practices related to their sourcing, production, processing, use and innovation over time, including through our ‘sustainability edits’ that feature products with certified materials and other preferred product attributes for consumers.”
All of the fur salons will be converted into spaces “customized for modern luxury experiences,” NMG told WWD, without specifying what those experiences would be. The company added that it plans to work with luxury brands creating “new and innovative ultra-luxury concepts that satisfy the discerning tastes of luxury customers.”
As reported, last week Holt Renfrew unveiled a “360-degree commitment” to sustainability, encompassing reducing emissions and waste as well as sourcing more ecologically safe products and stopping the sale of animal fur and exotic skins.
The International Fur Federation, which represents the interests of the international fur industry, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.