Leading fashion retailer Nordstrom announced that the company will stop selling all products made with animal fur or exotic animal skins by the end of 2021. This ban will take place at all of the retailers under the Seattle-based company's umbrella, including Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, and Last Chances stores, along with Nordstrom's e-commerce sites. The decision and commitment were influenced by the Humane Society of the United States, the organization that also helped Macy's department stores ban the sale of fur in all of its stores as well as in Bloomingdales (which is also owned by Macy's) almost a year ago.

"As a leading fashion retailer, we're committed to delivering the best possible service and merchandise for our customers. Delivering on that commitment means continually listening to customer feedback and evolving our product offering to ensure we're meeting their needs," said Teri Bariquit, Nordstrom's chief merchandising officer.

"As part of our ongoing product evolution, we've been working with the Humane Society of the United States and recently made the decision to stop offering products made with genuine fur or exotic animal skin in any of our stores or online. Our private label brands haven't used these materials for years, so extending this policy to all the brands we carry is a natural next step for our business."

Kitty Block, president, and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, weighed in on Nordstrom's decision, saying, "We applaud Nordstrom for ending the sale of fur and becoming the first U.S.-based retailer to ban exotic animal skins. This is a pivotal step toward a more humane business model and a safer world for animals, sending a clear message that animals should not suffer for the sake of fashion. Nordstrom's decision will surely have a ripple effect on other influential fashion leaders."

The Humane Society noted that "this is a huge victory that will spare countless animals and makes a clear statement that animal furs and exotic animal skins are unnecessary products of the past. This announcement couldn't have come at a better time. It's become quite clear that aside from being overwhelmingly cruel and bad for the environment, fur farming is a major COVID-19 risk, with outbreaks linked to fur farms in the U.S. and Europe." Recently, the Netherlands announced mink farms will close two years ahead of schedule due to the COVID-19 outbreak in 41 of the estimated 120 farms. The new ban will not allow breeders to restock their animals, and the Dutch government plans to purchase all the mink farms for $212 million over the next six months.

Adding to the list of the ban on animal products, Nordstrom sells designer names like Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger who also recently announced they are no longer selling products made with exotic animal leather, as well as major luxury brands like Prada who recently banned kangaroo leather and Valentino who banned alpaca wool. When asked about using animal materials in the high-end fashion industry, Marco Bizzarri, Chief Executive and President of Gucci said,  “I don’t think it’s still modern,” when they decided to ban fur back in 2018.

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