Animal rights organisation PETA has purchased a 1% stake in Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group in a bid to be able to exert pressure on department store House of Fraser to re-instate its no-fur policy.
Prior to Ashley’s acquisition of House of Fraser in 2018, the chain had a decade-long no-fur but it decided to restart the sale of apparel containing fur in November 2019.
The decision had been met with consumer condemnation with many taking to Twitter to pledge a boycott. It also runs counter to the tide of brands and retailers who have dropped fur in the past two years.
Having been called out after the fur items were spotted in its Oxford Street store, initially House of Fraser removed the items from the store and online, however they have since crept back on-sale. It has now publicised a new policy claiming it only stocks fur from “responsible sources”.
The animal organisation has taken this strategy in order to have representation and a presence within Ashley’s retail chain’s yearly meeting and to address its new fur policy.
Elisa Allen, PETA director stated: “House of Fraser’s fur ban reversal flies in the face of what today’s kind shoppers want. As a shareholder, PETA US will be able to push the department store to do what’s right for its own reputation and for animals by reinstating its policy against selling bits and pieces of their fur.”
The stake in House of Fraser is followed by a series of similar moves by Peta in order to exert its influence over the use of animal products in the fashion industry. In March 2019 the Animal rights group had taken shares in fast fashion etailer Boohoo in a bid to influence it to restore a decision – which it later backtracked on – to ban the sale of products containing wool. PETA also has a stake in leading British luxury etailer, Farfetch, which announced it was banning the sale of fur a year ago.
Earlier this week PETA said it was retiring its iconic “I’d rather go naked than wear fur” campaign, which had run for 30 years and featured string of high-profile celebrities and models from Pamela Anderson and Gillian Anderson to Christy Turlington and Eva Mendes, posing nude to pledge their support. The group said the global demise of the fur trade and the move by a host of global brands and designers from Chanel to Gucci, Burberry and Michael Kors to ban fur had led it to focus its attentions on highlighting cruelty in the leather and wool supply chains.