Animal rights group Peta UK has sent a letter to Harvey Nichols new chief executive officer Stacey Cartwright requesting that she reinstates the department store's “long-standing and much-respected no-fur policy”.
Last year the department store group former fashion director Paula Reed decided to end Harvey Nichols decade long ban to exclude any products containing or made with animal fur or rare skins as the company began stocking and selling fur items once more.
“I appreciate that it must be a particularly busy time for you in your new post, but please take a few moments to watch this video, narrated by actor Eva Mendes, which highlights the routine cruelty that animals endure at the hands of the immoral fur trade. It is estimated that 85 percent of the world's fur comes from farms where animals spend their entire lives confined to small, filthy wire cages,” wrote Yvonne Taylor, Peta's UK senior programmes manager.
The letter goes on to describe the cruel and graphic conditions in which Peta has found animals kept in “Origin Assured” fur farms in European countries such as Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden before being gassed, genitally electrocuted, poisoned or beaten to death for the fur industry. Reed's decision to reintroduce fur sales to the department store is also questioned in the letter.
“The inexplicable actions of Harvey Nichols' former fashion director, who reneged on the store's no-fur policy last year, shocked your loyal customers. Knowing now how animals suffer at the hands of the fur trade and that there is no such thing as 'ethically sourced' or 'humanely farmed' fur, will you please assure Peta and your customers that Harvey Nichols is once again fur-free?”
Taylor highlights the number of top designers, including the likes of Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood and Simone Rocha, who refuse to use real fur in their collections and other premium department stores such as Liberty and Selfridges which have a no-fur policy and continue to be successful.
Mimi Bekhechi, associate director at Peta UK commented on their action: “If Stacey Cartwright and other policymakers at Harvey Nichols would watch even a snippet of the video, which shows the enormous suffering that animals endure and the awful ways in which they are killed so as to be made into fur coats and collars, they would reinstate the store's well-respected no-fur policy, putting it back in line with compassionate competitors such as Selfridges, Liberty and virtually all other respected department stores in the country.”
“Anyone disturbed by such cruelty can help by sending a message to Harvey Nichols through Peta.org.uk to ask the company to reinstate its fur-free policy immediately.”