Fashion, Features

West Hollywood Bans Sale of Fur

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By Mai Hakkaku The window display is one of several protests by merchants against West Hollywood's first in the nation ban on fur apparel. After two years of debate, the ban took effect on Saturday. This drastic measure is the latest move by the city in its desire to establish itself as “the most humane city in the world.”   As furs are often the most expensive pieces in designer collections, this can affect sales dramatically. In spite of the ban, fur continues to be a mainstay on the catwalk. International fur sales were at $15.6 billion last year, including $1.3 billion nationally, said Keith Kaplan, executive director of the Fur Information Council of America, a fur industry trade group. The organization, headquartered in West Hollywood, is considering a lawsuit to block the ban.   The ban applies only to "wearing apparel," which includes shoes, hats and gloves. It includes shearing, a sheepskin or lambskin pelt that has gone through limited shearing. The popular UGG boots can't be sold because they contain shearing. Wallets and purses aren't banned, nor is leather.   "West Hollywood is a very progressive community that puts a lot of emphasis on social justice and welfare, People care about the humane treatment of animals." Councilman Jeffrey Prang said.

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