Ralph Lauren is one of the fashion world’s most popular labels, but does it use real fur in its products?
As an organization, Ralph Lauren has sworn against the use of real fur since 2006, working with PETA to make a statement against fur. Instead, they use synthetic furs or shearling, the skin and wool of a shorn sheep – not furs taken from a slaughtered animal.
Read on to learn more about Ralph Lauren and their anti-fur policies, and how that impacts their position in the fashion world.
The Crux Of The Fashion World
Since humans have been intelligent enough to hunt animals, they’ve used their furs for clothing. It’s a practice as old as time itself, and it ensured the race survived through thousands of years’ worth of winters.
These days, the landscape has changed a little, and hunting animals for their fur is widely frowned upon. We’ve come on quite some way as a civilization, and we no longer need to slaughter animals for their skins and furs.
However, it obviously still happens, and there are some fashion labels that regularly use real fur to create their products. It’s an upsetting truth for some, but it’s likely the trade will never end, so long as these brands see the value in the fur.
The use of real fur and skins is almost exclusively reserved for the more luxurious brands, such as Hermes, Dior, and Louis Vuitton. Although some have taken steps to restrict their use of fur, many still create products using exotic skins, leathers, and even animal hair.
It’s often the manufacturers of bags and boots that overstep the mark on this delicate matter. There are some who will use the skins of alligators, crocodiles, and snakes to make high-end handbags and boots.
As the twenty-first century progresses, more and more fashion brands are dropping fur from their line-ups entirely. It’s seen as a progressive move that always scores great public relations ratings, and ultimately, it doesn’t end up costing the company much on a financial scale.
In 2019, an article was published that both praised and discussed the top-tier labels that had abolished the use of fur. This somewhat expansive list included the names of Burberry, Chanel, Gucci, and Ralph Lauren.
Ralph Lauren: From Rags To Riches
Once upon a time, Ralph Lauren ran his entire fashion label single-handed, out of a small showroom in New York City. He was always destined for a career in fashion and had lofty goals that included the distribution of his own, unique brand.
In 1968, he began working on his first iconic menswear line, which he dubbed ‘Polo’. His tenacity and affinity for fashion propelled him forward in a very short amount of time, and within a year, he was a well-known name.
When the 1970s rolled around, Ralph Lauren was quite simply rolling in success. He’d released various lines, opened a store in Beverley Hills, and even worked with film directors to provide apparel for movies.
The Ralph Lauren origin story and climb to fashion stardom is an extremely interesting one. You can learn more about it in another article we’ve posted.
While Ralph Lauren wasn’t averse to using fur through the earlier decades of trading, it wasn’t something that would last. In fact, in 2006, Ralph Lauren confirmed that the brand would never again use fur in the creation of its products.
It joined a prestigious line-up of other labels all committing to the same thing, as we’ve already explained. In this day and age, the use of fur is often viewed as barbaric and totally unnecessary, as so many great alternatives exist.
Ralph Lauren is prone to using ‘shearling’ in the creation of their fur-like products, which acts as a sort of middle-ground. This shearling is taken from freshly-shorn sheep, and they aren’t killed to obtain it.
Therefore, the customer ends up with something that is an animal product, but it’s almost certain the animal didn’t suffer for its creation. Alternatively, Ralph Lauren uses high-quality synthetic furs, which today, are so difficult to tell apart from the real thing.
For example, at Ralph Lauren’s 2015 fall fashion show in New York, fur was seen on almost every model hitting the runway. However, Ralph Lauren reassured critics that every fur-like piece featured at the event was made with shearling and not real fur.
As time goes on, it’s the hope of many that more fashion labels will follow the examples set by Ralph Lauren.