West Hollywood now claims a first that a lot of people don't want: it's the first city in the nation to officially ban the sale of fur. Keep in mind, this ban isn't just big obnoxious sable coats, but also includes items with even a hint of fur in their composition. The ordinance bans "any item of personal attire, clothing or garment, which consists or is composed in whole or in part from the pelt or skin or any animal with its hair, wool or fur, including, but not limited to a fox, mink, rabbit, bear, seal or chinchilla."
A number of merchants have voluntarily, proactively purged their inventories of the offensive matter -- those merchants include Maxfield's, H Lorenzo, Zadig & Voltaire, and the Pleasure Chest (one wonders what fur object they sold in the first place -- shudders). But many other stores in the area are none too pleased about the ban. Darren Gold, chair of the Avenues, Art, Fashion, and Design District (and himself a WeHo merchant who does not sell fur) has heard an earful from merchants who are worried about how the ban will impact their businesses. And Gold is worried about how ruffling the feathers of so many merchants -- in a time and place that can scarcely afford a big retailer exodus -- will affect the big picture:
We have already heard of major retailers wanting to break their leases and move further down Melrose where they are free to sell merchandise that keeps them competitive with the retailers in Beverly Hills and other areas of Los Angeles. No one is for cruelty to animals, but this is not the way to support retailers in the city who are struggling to survive.
The ban isn't total: secondhand items will still be available for sale. But what do you think? Weigh in in the Comments.
· WeHo Proposing Ban on Fur Sales [Racked LA]
· West Hollywood Bans the Sale of Fur [Black Book Magazine]
· Fur Free West Hollywood [Official Site]