Intermix, a leading retailer known for following popular fashion trends, is under fire for selling, promoting, and glamorizing animal fur this past season.
Prominently displayed in their storefront windows and publicly advertised on social media, shoppers see rabbit fur scarves, raccoon fur trim, fox fur vests, and coyote fur jackets. Since October, the organization Fur Free Los Angeles has been asking Intermix to drop the cruelly obtained pelts and instead incorporate equally luxurious faux furs before next season. After numerous protests outside Intermix locations in Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, and Miami and after 32,000 signatures have been collected in support of the campaign, the company has still not responded.
The fur industry is one of our world's most barbaric and unnecessary businesses. Animals in the wild can languish for days in steel traps, metal cutting into their bones, until a trapper arrives to put them out of their misery. Victims of such traps have been known to chew off their own limbs for a chance at freedom. On fur farms, rabbits, foxes, mink, raccoon dogs, coyotes, and other animals spend their entire lives in cramped wire cages. Foxes are most often anally or vaginally electrocuted by a steel rod, a method employed so as not to damage the pelts. Conditions on fur farms in China, where there are no animal protection laws and where much of America's fur supply (including multiple items sold by Intermix this season) comes from, are even worse.
Campaign organizer Jessica Schlueter wrote the following in a post for Change.org:
The company's refusal to engage us or cooperate with us in any way can only mean one thing: Intermix knows it has no defense. Intermix knows there is no excuse for killing up to 100 animals for one single item of clothing... Intermix knows that by using words like "luxurious" and "exotic," it is distracting shoppers from what they are actually adorning their body with: the sewn together skins ripped from animals whose crime was nothing more than to be born with soft fur. Intermix knows it is placing greed and profits above ethics, compassion, and human decency.
See, when a company is targeted by a petition, it has two choices. It can follow in the steps of Cindy Barshop, whose Completely Bare Spa was recently on the receiving end of a Change.org anti-fur campaign. After the petition hit 1,200 signatures, Cindy released a public statement thanking petitioners and announcing her complete transition to faux fur. Alternatively, the company can choose to stay silent, pretend that their choices and actions are not contributing to horrific violence, and hope that the public outrage eventually fades away. However, judging by the determination of campaign organizers and the recent support lent by public figures like supermodel Janice Dickinson, veteran actor Andrew Keegan, swimsuit model Katarina Van Derham and Playmate Jessica Hall, this campaign is far from fizzling.
So, will Intermix keep their heads down with blinders on and continue to ignore the countless emails they have been sent, the calls they have received, and the images they have been shown? Or will they join other leading designers and retailers like Anthropologie, Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole, Stella McCartney, Ella Moss, Free People, Ralph Lauren, Urban Outfitters and True Religion, all of which have publicly vowed not to use fur in their designs?
Your move, Intermix.