Macy’s, the iconic American department store known for the Thanksgiving Day Parade, The Miracle on 34th Street, the Macy's fireworks on the Fourth of July, just took a big step forward by banning fur starting in 2020.  This makes it not just a stalwart of American retail but an innovator that has taken a leap forward in the future of the fashion industry, putting it ahead of the pack when it comes to the trend toward animal rights, ethical consumption and consumer purchasing behavior when it comes to fur.

The large retailer and its subsidiaries, which include 190 retail stores like Bloomingdales, Macy’s Backstage, and The Outlet, becomes the biggest company in the US to ban fur products, joining a similar ban by JC Penney and Sears. Bloomingdales will also ban fur.

In Macy’s press release published on their website, Jeff Gennette, chairman and chief executive officer of Macy’s, Inc. said, “Over the past two years, we have been closely following consumer and brand trends, listening to our customers and researching alternatives to fur. We’ve listened to our colleagues, including direct feedback from our Go Green Employee Resource Group, and we have met regularly on this topic with the Humane Society of the United States and other NGOs."

The company will be shutting down their Fur Vaults and salons in the weeks ahead. To learn more about the fur policy, click here.

Two weeks ago California became the first state to vote to ban the sale of new fur products starting in 2023 and cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and West Hollywood and Berkeley have all made new-fur selling illegal. (this does not apply to resale and thrift stores). And before Macy's joined the fur ban, top designers such as Polo Ralph Lauren (which did it in 2006), Tommy Hilfiger (in 2007), Gucci (in 2017), Michael Kors (in 2017), and Burberry, (in 2018).

"Macy’s private brands are already fur-free so expanding this practice across all Macy’s, Inc. is the natural next step," Gennette added in the press release. "We are proud to partner with the Humane Society of the United States in our commitment to ending the sale of fur. We remain committed to providing great fashion and value to our customers, and we will continue to offer high-quality and fashionable faux fur alternatives.” For the full press release, click here.

The massive retailer made this decision in partnership with the Humane Society, in effort to “end this unnecessary and inhumane practice.” The Humane Society is an organization that protects animals from all forms of cruel behavior. They announced the ban on their Instagram yesterday and included that “this is a monumental day for animals!”

In addition, The Humane Society concluded: “We are proud to be part of the revolution that is working to bring an end to this suffering, and we will continue to fight this scourge globally until it is wiped off the face of the earth. Today’s announcement from Macy’s gives us added inspiration and our movement even greater momentum as we continue to work toward a fur-free future.”

With estimated annual earnings of $25 billion, according to Macy's and 130,000 employees, and 641 locations, the enormous department store company's decision to ban fur will have an extensive impact on consumer awareness. Companies such as Macy's have faced increased pressure from organizations such as PETA  to ban animal fur sales, and finally the decision has taken hold. According to WWD, the sales of fur have remained strong internationally with an estimated $30 billion in 2017 globally, in the U.S, China, Russia, Asia, and Europe. In the US in 2017 the most recent year reported, mink accounted for $120 million dollars of sales. That's half of what it was seven years earlier and newer numbers are expected to fall further. With Macy's and California leading the way, the ban of fur is bound to take hold across the US and we can only hope that more designers agree with Gucci, whose chief executive and president, Marco Bizzarri said, back when they banned fur was: "I don't think it's still modern."


More From The Beet