Michael Kors Goes Fur-Free after Being Slammed by Activists

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. castigate / ˈkæs tɪˌgeɪt / (v) – to attack and criticize harshly

    Activists castigated the designer for using real animal skin in making clothes.

  2. mimic / ˈmɪm ɪk / (v) – to copy something or someone

    Some animals in the wild mimic one another’s actions.

  3. throw (something) overboard / θroʊ ˈoʊ vərˌbɔrd / (idiom) – to get rid of or to stop using something

    Fashion designers threw fur and leather clothes overboard to protect animals.

  4. milestone / ˈmaɪlˌstoʊn / (n) – an important event in the development of something

    The protesters were glad because of the new milestone in their advocacy.

  5. follow suit / ˈfɒl oʊ sut / (idiom) – to follow an example set by someone else

    The recent changes made by the company will encourage others to follow suit.


Read the text below.

Michael Kors decided to stop using real fur after anti-fur activists castigated him in New York last year.

The fashion designer and company owner was criticized by protesters during a dialogue on fashion and arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Alina Cho, an editor and former host of CNN. The pair’s conversation was interrupted by demonstrators who surrounded Michael Kors and waved anti-fur banners at him while mimicking animal sounds.

The protesters believe that he should be blamed for the murder of many animals, whose fur were turned into coats, bags, and other similar products.

As a response to the protest, Michael Kors announced months later that his company is finally throwing fur overboard and will utilize fake but realistic fur using advanced technology as a replacement. By the end of 2018, the company’s current fur products will no longer be available in the market.

Through Twitter, a lot of people expressed their relief and happiness over this decision. One of those who felt very pleased with the announcement was animal rights organization PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), who considers this milestone a gift to all animals who grow and bear fur.

Prior to the announcement, fashion brand Gucci had already declared that it would stop manufacturing fur products. Other companies have also followed suit, including Armani and Stella McCartney.

While several luxury brands are now going fur-free, recent figures suggest that its impact is still minimal. According to the Fur Information Council of America, 70% of major designers still carry fur in their fall and winter collections.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• How do you think going fur-free will affect the company?
• Should more companies ban the use of fur? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• Aside from fur, what other raw materials cause harm to the environment?
• Do you think it is possible to ban them totally? Why or why not?