Fur ban brings industry elite before New York City Council

As New York City’s proposed fur ban made its way before the New York City Council on Tuesday, both pro-ban council members and industry elites came forward to push for the bill’s progress.  

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The bill, known as Bill No. 1476, was first introduced by Council Speaker Corey Johnson on March 28. During the hearing held by the Council on May 15, supporters from Johnson to fashion consultant and TV personality Tim Gunn testified to promote the proposal and affirm that the fashion industry can thrive without fur.

“There are many who believe that fashion and fur are inextricable,” Gunn said to the Council in footage captured by ABC7NY. “Basically, that they’re married, and I say that that’s preposterous.”

Previously, Council Speaker Johnson has emphasized the list of luxury labels that have gone fur-free, including Stella McCartney, Gucci and Ralph Lauren, among others.

Opponents of the bill were not silent, from locals working in the fur trade to protestors who claimed that the bill is ignorant of the importance of fur within the African American community.

According to ABC7NY, those who are anti-ban also claim that the bill would put 7,500 New Yorkers out of work, remove $850 million per year in revenue from the city's coffers and expand the use of fake-fur, which is made using non-biodegradable plastics.

Previously, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that he supported the “underlying idea” of the proposal, but still expressed concern over the possible impact on jobs. While not being firmly pro-ban, de Blasio's comments could tip the scales in favor of the bill passing in the coming weeks.

The proposed fur ban would apply only to new furs, and would not penalize the re-selling or re-purposing of pre-existing fur. In addition, exceptions would be made for fur used for religious garments.

A summary of the bill states that violations would be punished by a civil penalty of no more than $500 for the first violation, and no less than $500, but no more than $1,500 for subsequent violations.

Fur apparel offered for sale, and revenue generated from the sale of fur apparel, would be subject to forfeiture.

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