Kingston University has become the first university in the UK to ban fur from being used in future student projects as of this month.
The motion was put forward to The Union of Kingston Students at The Big Student Debate place on March 9. The motion was successfully passed with the majority voting in favour of the ban.
Simon Plazolles-Hayes, a Business Management student at Kingston University and animal rights activist, put forward the motion and made a speech in front of hundreds who attended. During the speech, Plazolles-Hayes spoke about his reasoning for initiating the motion, saying: “The fur industry has contributed to endangering species, and polluting the earth…Fur is neither humane, sustainable, ethical or necessary”.
With the UK now taking a tougher stance against animal cruelty, and most industries opting for more ethical alternatives, the vote to ban fur at Kingston could not have come at a more significant time. Plazolles-Hayes told “Many of the companies that fashion students have gone on to work for, and companies such as Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss, Thomas Pink and Armani are all fur free…This will be a great opportunity for students to experiment with new materials, ones that are more sustainable and ethical”.
PETA, a global animal rights charity, supplied anti-fur posters, banners and fliers for use before the motion around Kingston University, to gather awareness and encourage more people to get involved and vote in favour of the ban.
After the ban had been passed, Plazolles-Hayes said: “I set up the motion because I realised that there was nothing stopping students from using a cruel product like fur. Kingston University is consistently ranked one of the best for fashion. If students could come together and take a stand, it would send a message to the fur industry: the current and future designers want nothing that you offer. I think as word spreads that Kingston made history, it will continue to dent the ailing fur industry, and will save many animals from a cruel demise.”
Students throughout the university were pleased with the vote result, one being Ellie Ideson, a journalism student at Kingston University who said: “I’m so happy that fur has been banned from the university. There is so much faux-fur out there that I don’t see the need to use real fur in any circumstance. So pleased the uni has stood up against it and won”.
Kingston University is ranked 4th best in the world for teaching fashion. With such a highly-regarded fashion course adopting to ban fur from future projects, this sets a standard to the rest of the world. March 2017 marks what many see as a great victory for Kingston University, animals and the future of fashion.