GAME CHANGER: Fashion Giant Gucci Pledges To Go Fur Free In 2018

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Brilliant news, animal lovers and ethical fashion fans: Gucci has finally joined Armani, Stella McCartney and Net a Porter in vowing to go fur-free.

Gucci's move follows a similar initiative by Italian rivals Armani, which previous year pledged to drop fur from its collections.

Gucci's president said on Wednesday the move demonstrated "our absolute commitment to making sustainability an intrinsic part of our business".

Gucci, part of Paris-based luxury conglomerate Kering (PRTP.PA), has seen its sales rise over the past two years under creative director Alessandro Michele.

"I wanted to find someone who shared a belief in the importance of the same values". "I sensed that immediately on meeting Alessandro for the first time". The brand is also joining the Fur Free Alliance, which 'is an global coalition of 40 animal protection organizations working together to end the exploitation and killing of animals for fur.' It is also auctioning off any fur products that it still owns, with proceeds going to an Italian animal rights group, LAV, and the Humane Society in the US.

Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri said the brand would no longer "use, promote or publicize animal fur", beginning with the menswear collection to be previewed in January and womenswear in February.

In April, a Sky News Investigation with Humane Society International found four types of animal fur being sold on the British high street - but marketed to shoppers as fake fur.

Joh Vinding, the alliance's chairman, said: "Gucci is taking a bold stand for animals, showing the world that the future of fashion is fur-free".

Kitty Block, president of Humane Society International, welcomed the brand's "compassionate" decision.

"Gucci going fur-free is a huge game-changer", she said in a statement.