AMSTERDAM, 20 JUNE 2016 – After working together with Dutch animal protection organisation Bont voor Dieren, the store owners on the Hartenstraat in Amsterdam have decided to ban all fur items from their shops. With this compassionate move the Hartenstraat (which translates as ‘Heartstreet’) has become the first fur-free shopping street in Europe. The 19 store owners of the Hartenstraat hereby also respond to the municipality of Amsterdam which has encouraged its local entrepreneurs to go fur-free. On June 21 at 11.00 AM an official “Fur-free shopping street” sign will be unveiled by Laurens Ivens, alderman of Animal Welfare in Amsterdam, and Dutch actress Georgina Verbaan.
Bont voor Dieren aims to spread awareness about the extreme animal suffering in the fur industry and to encourage consumers and companies to go fur-free. Several renowned fashion brands in the Hartenstraat such as HOPE, Marc O’Polo and COS had already adopted a fur-free policy. Other stores had previously been selling items made of mink, rabbit and fox fur. Animals kept on fur farms spend their entire lives in small, wire cages and are killed by cruel methods, such as gassing and anal electrocution. Today, for the very first time an entire shopping street publicly announces its humane decision to go fur-free.
The Hartenstraat is located in the midst of ‘De 9 straatjes’ (the 9 Streets), a popular shopping district in the centre of Amsterdam. The historic neighbourhood was constructed in the 17th century during the Dutch Golden Age, a highly prosperous period due to the flourishing international trade. The street names of ‘De 9 straatjes’, such as Wolvenstraat (Wolfsstreet), Huidenstraat (Skinstreet) and Berenstraat (Bearstreet), still bear witness to the artisans that were active here at the time and are a remnant of the past local trade in animal hides. Over the years the name Hertenstraat (Dear street) was changed into Hartenstraat (Heartstreet).
Nicole van Gemert, director of Bont voor Dieren:
The announcement of the Hartenstraat to go fur-free greatly illustrates our changed attitude towards animals over 400 years time. Fur has no place on shopping streets of the 21st century. The store owners on the Hartenstraat have decided to do business with compassion, and I am certain many other streets will follow their example.
Laurens Ivens, alderman of Animal Welfare:
It is great to see shops in the Hartenstraat taking their responsibility for animal welfare seriously and deciding for a fur-free policy. This initiative is highly praised by the municipality of Amsterdam!
Companies that have signed the fur-free agreement are part of the Fur Free Retailer program, an international list of fur-free companies (such as Armani and Hugo Boss) offering consumers the ability to make informed and compassionate choices.
Fur-free stores on the Hartenstraat:
De Maagd en de Leeuw
Hester van Eeghen
Shine & Design
Europe's first fur-free shopping street