California becomes first US state to ban fur

California has become the first US state to ban the manufacture and sale of animal fur with much applause from animal rights groups


Residents will no longer be able to sell or make clothing, shoes or handbags from fur as of 2023.

The move has been celebrated by animal rights groups around the US which have been calling for a ban for some time.

Governor Gavin Newsom also signed a bill banning most animals from circus shows, except cats, dogs and horses.

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"California is a leader when it comes to animal welfare and today that leadership includes banning the sale of fur," Newsom said in a statement.

Those found breaking the law could reportedly face a fine of $500 or in repeat cases, $1,000.

"We applaud Gov Newsom and the state's lawmakers for recognising that California citizens do not want their state's markets to contribute to the demand for fur products," a statement from Humane Society USA said.

Related: Fabrics to avoid and embrace if you want to make more sustainable fashion choices

Fur-free movement

This should mean that even more designers will join the movement and ban the use of fur from their collections; earlier this year Prada joined fashion’s fur-free movement.

Animal fur will not be used in its designs or new products, items already made will continue to be sold, for the time being.

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"Focusing on innovative materials will allow the company to explore new boundaries of creative design while meeting the demand for ethical products," said the head of the fashion chain, Miuccia Prada in a statement.

Prada joined a growing list of brands and retailers ceasing the use of animal fur, including GucciBurberry and Versace.

As a result, faux fur has seen a resurgance.

How can I tell if the fur is real or fake?

The HSI has the following tips on its website:1. Check the ends of the fur. Real fur tends to taper to a point at the end of each strand, whereas the tip of faux fur tends to be blunt where it has been cut in the manufacturing process. (Note: This is not fool-proof because any real fur that has been sheared will not be tapered, but this is the exception, not the rule.)2. Check the base of the fur. Part the hairs at the very base of the fur. Faux fur will be attached to a fabric backing, identified by its weave look. At the base of real fur, there will be an animal’s skin (leather).

3. The burn test. You can’t do this test in-store obviously, but if you already own the item, then simply burning a small sample of a few hairs can be helpful. If it’s real animal fur, it will singe and smell like burnt human hair, whereas if it’s fake, it will melt and curl into tiny balls, and smell like burnt plastic. (Note: Please only conduct the burn test in a safe environment, and on a small sample cut from the main item.)

Main photograph: Pexels

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