Hudson’s Bay, a retailer with deep roots in fur, has stopped selling animal fur products.
The Toronto-based Hudson’s Bay Company’s entire portfolio is now fur-free. Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks Off 5th committed to do so in 2021.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals touted the news Thursday, claiming that emails from 100,000 PETA supporters to Hudson’s Bay businesses and anti-fur protests outside of stores helped make the change. In October 2020, there were demonstrations outside of nine Hudson’s Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue stores.
Executives at Hudson’s Bay were unavailable to comment Thursday about the company’s fur-free decision, according to a company spokeswoman. The only statement that would be made was issued by the retailer, “Hudson’s Bay does not sell fur.”
The decision is an about-face for North America’s oldest company, which dates back to two centuries before Canada was formed, when a few French traders discovered a bounty of fur that was accessible through the inland sea of Hudson Bay. The company highlights its fur trade heritage on its website. Eventually, 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 the merchandise in March 2022, according to the Hudson’s Bay spokeswoman.
Other Hudson’s Bay-owned entities, Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks Off 5th, also followed through on their commitments, as confirmed by spokespeople for both entities Thursday. Saks Fifth Avenue’s fur-free policy is spelled out on its site. “Saks Fifth Avenue does not offer products from animals raised for the use of their fur, including but not limited to mink, fox, chinchilla and sable, as well as fur products derived from wild animals, such as coyote and beaver.”
The discount chain took a phased-out approach to stop selling those products from brands and within its private label merchandise online and in stores. That effort was wrapped up by the end of January. Saks Off 5th continues to sell items made of shearling, goatskin, cattle hide, down, feathers, leather and faux fur products online and in its stores.
The fact that the Hudson’s Bay Company is officially out of selling fur is another checkpoint for PETA, which has been making significant 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. However, there are exceptions, like LVMH and others. PETA continues to lobby the luxury conglomerate that owns Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Dior and other luxe labels, as it has for the past decade.
PETA plans to mark its milestone with Hudson’s Bay by sending the company a box of bunny-shaped vegan chocolates, according to a spokesperson for the animal rights group.