03/23/2016 12:28 EDT | Updated 03/23/2016 12:59 EDT

Armani Pledges To Go Fur-Free Following Years Of Appeals From Animal Rights Activists

Big news from Giorgio Armani: the Italian design house has vowed to go fur-free following years of appeals from animal rights activists.

He joins the likes of Stella McCartney, Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein who have all expressed their concerns when it comes to fur trade.

"I am pleased to announce that the Armani Group has made a firm commitment to abolish the use of animal fur in its collections," Armani, 81, said in a statement on Tuesday. "Technological progress made over the years allows us to have valid alternatives at our disposition that render the use of cruel practices unnecessary as regards animals.

"Pursuing the positive process undertaken long ago, my company is now taking a major step ahead, reflecting our attention to the critical issues of protecting and caring for the environment and animals."

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The change will take effect for the Armani group's autumn/winter 2016 collections, including its Giorgio Armani, Armani Privé, and Emporio Armani lines. Armani, who has used animal fur in his past collections, is working with the Fur Free Alliance and the Humane Society of the United States to develop this plan and find suitable alternatives to animal fur.

"Armani's fur-free announcement makes it clear that designers and consumers can have creative freedom and luxury all without supporting animal cruelty," said said Joh Vinding, chairman of the Fur Free Alliance, according to Vogue U.K.. "Mr. Armani has been a trendsetter in the fashion world for decades and this latest announcement is proof that compassion and innovation are the future of fashion."

This isn't the first time Armani has pledged to go fur-free. Back in 2007, the Italian designer shared his intentions to discontinue the use of fur in his intentions, but didn't commit, sending rabbit fur down a fall/winter 2008 runway. This resulted in criticism from PETA, several anti-fur protests taking place in front of Armani stores all over the world.

However, it seems as though animal rights activists have more faith in Armani's most recent pledge.

According to Cosmopolitan U.K., Mark Glover, director of Respect for Animals, also weighed in on Armani's big decision by saying, "No ifs, no buts: real fur is cruel and unnecessary. We are delighted that such an influential company in the fashion business as Armani has become a Fur Free Retailer and they join many other compassionate retailers in the UK."

Let's hope he sticks to his word, fur real, this time.

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