Multiple fur coats hanging on a clothes rack

London Fashion Week turns 40


This year, the British Fashion Council is celebrating the 40th anniversary of London Fashion Week (LFW), one of the world’s most exciting fashion events.

LFW’s biannual shows may be the pinnacle of the UK fashion calendar, but there is still progress to be made when it comes to taking a stand on wild animal exploitation.  

Created in 1983, the British Fashion Council was set up to champion British fashion. The first official London Fashion Week event followed in 1984 - starting from relatively humble origins - in the car park of The Commonwealth Institute in Kensington.  

While LFW has consistently represented innovation, rebellion, and self-expression over the past 40 years, creativity should not come at any cost. 

As LFW was establishing itself in the 1980s, anti-fur campaigns like this one were calling out cruelty. Yet it was only at the end of last year that the British Fashion Council officially banned fur from LFW collections (it was announced in 2018 that the events that year featured no fur, but this did not become official policy until December 2023).  

But wildlife exploitation in fashion is not just about fur - wild animals are also killed for their skins or feathers. The British Fashion Council has a real opportunity this year to build on the momentum of their recent ban on fur and call time on the use of wild animal skins and feathers as well.  

There is no justification for the exploitation of any wild animal in the name of fashion

Despite being one of the big 4global fashion shows, LFW currently lags behind other international fashion events. Melbourne Fashion Week now prohibits all three controversial wildlife-sourced materials – fur, skins and feathers. 

As we celebrate 40 years of LFW, World Animal Protection – alongside our friends at Collective Fashion Justice - are calling on the British Fashion Council to add wild animal skins and feathers to their policy. By banning the use of all wildlife products, LFW can truly start to showcase British fashion at its wildlife-friendly best.

Fox on a fur farm

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Image credits: Fox image by Jo-Anne McArthur

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