Some area businesses are opposing the , calling for fur to be regulated rather than banned.
The West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to Mayor John Duran and the City Council members on Thursday morning indicating its opposition to the ordinance. According to the Chamber, 46 percent of apparel stores in the city, approximately 90 retailers, sell fur.
In a press release, the Chamber stated that it is “deeply disappointed and saddened by the outcome of Monday night’s West Hollywood City Council meeting and their attempts to push through an ordinance which is detrimental to any business in West Hollywood.”
West Hollywood made headlines around the globe this week with the passage of the fur-free ordinance. The city became the first in the nation to ban the sale of any clothing item containing fur.
At Monday’s council meeting, several retailers threatened to move their businesses to Beverly Hills or Los Angeles if the prohibition passed.
In an effort to find middle ground and keep moneymaking businesses in the city, the Chamber is proposing two alternatives that would regulate the sale of fur in the city rather than outright ban it.
One option is to adopt a label program being used internationally called Origin Assured (OA). This label program regulates which countries the fur comes from and guarantees that humane standards are followed.
The other option is to create a voluntary program in which businesses opt to go fur free and carry a certification sticker in their windows.
Both options seek to raise the consciousness of customers by giving them more information about fur and how the animals are treated.
This education process would allow customers “to make an educated decision about their purchases and effectively help in the real fight to end animal cruelty,” the Chamber said in the press release, adding that the program still gives West Hollywood notoriety as a “progressive and forward thinking municipality.”
Weho Patch contacted Councilman John D’Amico, who sponsored the fur ban, for comment, but he has not responded. D’Amico championed the fur-free cause during his election campaign and made it his first piece of legislation after joining the council in March.
Knowing it would be creating a precedent that other cities might follow, the council instructed City Hall staffers to carefully draft an ordinance. At Monday night’s meeting, they reviewed the language of the ordinance and again unanimously voted to adopt it.
In the four months between first approving the ordinance and finally adopting it, D’Amico says he sought input from the Chamber and affected businesses. Both the Chamber and the Avenues: Art, Fashion and Design district declined to participate.
Instead, the Chamber says it offered to submit economic findings from a comprehensive report to help the council make a more informed decision.
The Chamber said that the Fur Information Council of America (FICA) released that detailed economic impact study on Tuesday morning. The Chamber did not explain why FICA waited until the day after the council vote to release the report.