The use of fur in fashion

Request 

Respect for Animals is an animal welfare organisation that specialises in campaigning to bring an end to the cruel and unnecessary fur trade.

Many people have a moral objection to the use of real fur in fashion and we are developing a database resource which will allow potential students to make a fully compassionate and principled decision about their education and future careers.

We want to ensure our online searchable database provides accurate information and we will provide you with a link where you can review your listing.  Information will be amended and updated whenever we are notified of relevant changes.

Therefore, under the FOI Act, could you please answer the following questions:

  1. Does your HE establishment have a policy on the use of fur?  Please provide a copy of the policy and any related documents.
  2. Does real fur feature in any of your fashion or design courses, and if so, in what way?  Please send copies of course documents that refer to fur.
  3. What financial support, including sponsored competitions do you receive from the fur industry?  By members of the fur industry we refer to fur associations such as Fur Europe, the International Fur Federation, British Fur Trade Association, Saga Furs, and Kopenhagen Fur (not an exhaustive list).
  4. The fur industry is very keen to boast about its work with students, including in the UK.  Does your HE establishment allow or facilitate members of the fur industry to promote any of the following:
    • Design competitions
    • Summer schools (including the London Fur Summer School run by Rebecca Bradley London Fur)
    • Post-graduate internships
    • Scholarships
    • Saga Furs Design Centre
    • Future Furs programme run by the International Fur Federation

 5. Please provide the name, position, and email details for the person(s) responsible for developing policy in this area.

Kind regards

Response

Dear Ms..,

I write further to your request for information dated 22 March 2019.  This request has been handled by the University in accordance with its duties and obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 ("FOIA"). 

You requested details of:

  1. Does your HE establishment have a policy on the use of fur?  Please provide a copy of the policy and any related documents.
  2. Does real fur feature in any of your fashion or design courses, and if so, in what way?  Please send copies of course documents that refer to fur.
  3. What financial support, including sponsored competitions do you receive from the fur industry?  By members of the fur industry we refer to fur associations such as Fur Europe, the International Fur Federation, British Fur Trade Association, Saga Furs, and Kopenhagen Fur (not an exhaustive list).
  4. The fur industry is very keen to boast about its work with students, including in the UK.  Does your HE establishment allow or facilitate members of the fur industry to promote any of the following:
    • Design competitions
    • Summer schools (including the London Fur Summer School run by Rebecca Bradley London Fur)
    • Post-graduate internships
    • Scholarships
    • Saga Furs Design Centre
    • Future Furs programme run by the International Fur Federation

5. Please provide the name, position, and email details for the person(s) responsible for developing policy in this area.

The University's response to your request is set out below;

  1. The fashion course has an ethics statement that includes this: 'The Cass Fashion is animal fur free as the utilisation of fur encourages the promotion and distribution of exotic furs. There are excellent substitutes for fur and we encourage the use of these as an alternative''. See here Ethical statement
  2. Fur does not feature.
  3. None.
  4. No
  5. Refused under s.21 FOIA as the information is readily accessible by other means. The information is available on the university website - https://www.londonmet.ac.uk/profiles/our-staff/the-cass/ 

If you are not satisfied with the handling of your request, you may request an internal review.  Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original letter by writing to:


Chris Ince
University Secretary
London Metropolitan University
166-220 Holloway Road
London
N7 8DB
 
Email: c.ince@londonmet.ac.uk
 
If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner at:
 
The Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
 
Telephone:  0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745
Website:  www.ico.org.uk
 
There is no charge for making an appeal.

Kind regards,

Tracy Brathwaite
Information Compliance Officer
University Secretary's Office
London Metropolitan University
166-220 Holloway Road
London N7 8DB

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