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Nordstrom to stop selling fur and exotic animal skin products

California bans sale, manufacture of fur
California bans sale, manufacture of fur 00:19

Nordstrom plans to clear its racks of furs and products made with skins from exotic animals, including alligators, kangaroos and snakes, by the end of 2021.

The new policy — made in partnership with the Humane Society of the United States — includes Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, Last Chance stores and Nordstrom's e-commerce sites, the upscale retailer announced on Tuesday. The Seattle-based company operates 355 stores in 40 states. 

While other U.S. retailers including Bloomingdales and Macy's have in recent years unveiled fur-free policies, Nordstrom is the first to prohibit clothing and accessories made with the skins of exotic animals, according to the Humane Society.

California is the first U.S. state to ban the sale of new fur products, with a measure passed last year slated to take effect in 2023. Overseas, the Netherlands has ordered all mink farms to shut down by March of next year, moving up the decision after an outbreak of the coronavirus on multiple farms, according to news reports. 

In 2018, British luxury fashion brand Burberry said it would stop using real fur in its products, and Prada last year said it was ditching the use of animal fur in its designs or new products.

Nordstrom's decision is the result of listening to customers, Teri Bariquit, the company's chief merchandising officer, said in a statement. The retailer has not used the newly banished materials in its private label brands for years, so expanding that policy to all brands carried by Nordstrom is a "natural next step for our business," Bariquit added.

The move sends a "clear message that animals should not suffer for the sake of fashion," Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society, said in a statement. According to the animal rights organization, its international investigations of fur farms have shown animals confined in small cages, then bludgeoned to death or even skinned alive.

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