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This is huge: Armani high-end fashion line goes cruelty-free.

First SeaWorld, now Armani: this past week, huge steps have been taken by corporations after years of facing criticism to ensure that animals are no longer subject to cruel practices. Giorgio Armani just announced on Tuesday that Armani and all related lines would no longer be using fur, starting later this year with the Autumn/Winter 2016 collection.

The high-end designer collaborated with Humane Society International (HSI) and The Fur Free Alliance, who are committed to ending the fur trade. Armani’s related brands include the high-end lines Giorgio Armani, Armani Privé, and AX | Armani Exchange.

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Armani said in a statement:

“I am pleased to announce that the Armani Group has made a firm commitment to abolish the use of animal fur in its collections. Technological progress made over the years allows us to have valid alternatives at our disposition that render the use of cruel practices unnecessary as regards animals. Pursuing the positive process undertaken long ago, my company is now taking a major step ahead, reflecting our attention to the critical issues of protecting and caring for the environment and animals.”

Credit: Humane Society International

Though Armani is not the first designer to go cruelty-free, his no-fur promise is bound to encourage similar promises from other high-end designers who weren’t so convinced before. Other designers that have adopted cruelty-free practices are Hugo Boss, who banned fur and Angora wool from their line last year, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, and Stella McCartney, who excludes both leather and fur from their line.

This change means that the demand for fur will decrease and, hopefully, the supply will decrease as well as predominantly Chinese fur farms realize that fewer people want to be involved with the fur trade. An estimated 75 million animals are currently on fur farms, “enduring lives of unrelenting deprivation,” as the HSI describes it. Many rabbits, foxes, raccoon dogs, minks, and more suffer every day to eventually experience a brutal death and made into an expensive fashion accessory.

Credit: Humane Society International

The HSI recently exposed the cruel practices of fur farms, where animals live in tiny, barren wire cages and are never able to be the animals they were meant to be and express their innate wild behaviors. Many animals instead display stereotypical behaviors associated with extreme anxiety and despair. Video footage taken by undercover workers exposed the brutal ways that these animals are killed: they are given repeated electrical shocks, beaten to death with metal bars, or skinned alive.

Executive director of HSI’s U.K. division, Claire Bass, explained that, “Armani is the first word in luxury fashion, and so it is hugely significant for the global fashion industry that Armani has pledged to remove animal fur from all his new collections going forward.”

It’s great to hear that modern fashion is catching up to modern realizations of how cruel it can be to farm wild animals for their fur, and hopefully Armani is just the first in the luxury fashion world to denounce these practices.

Do you think other designers should adopt the same cruelty-free policies now? Is the value of fur above the value of the animal’s life? Comment your thoughts below and share this article!

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