San Francisco supervisors voted unanimously on Tuesday to ban the sale of fur, boosting the city’s animal-loving reputation as it becomes the largest U.S. city to approve the prohibition.
But West Hollywood was the first city in the country to ban the sale of wearable fur in retail stores in 2013. City council members passed the law by unanimous vote with a first of its kind ban that applied to all articles of clothing - anything made to be worn - but not to furniture items, blankets, or leather products.
The Berkeley City Council soon followed. While the San Francisco ban was supported by numerous advocates, it frustrated many business owners. A survey of retailers by the Chamber of Commerce and the Union Square Business Improvement District put the loss to the estimated 50 retailers in San Francisco that carry fur clothing at $45 million a year. A report by the city controller estimated the potential loss at about $11 million a year.
With such a projected influence on businesses in the northern California city, we put the spotlight back on West Hollywood to evaluate the economic impact on local businesses in the area.
Keith Kaplan, communications director, Fur Information Council of America (FICA) and chairman of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce