Sokos says it wants to help its customers make responsible consumption decisions by providing them with ethically and environmentally sustainable products and services.
Sokos says it wants to enable its customers to make responsible consumption decisions by providing them with ethically and environmentally sustainable products and services.

Sokos has announced that it will no longer carry furs and fur-trimmed products on its shelves.

“It is very important to us that the animal-derived ingredients and products in our product range are produced in way that respects animal rights and promotes animal welfare,” explains Juha Thilman, the director of sales at the department store chain.

Sokos estimates in a press release that, by offering products and services that are both ethically and environmentally sustainable, it enables consumers to make informed and responsible consumption choices.

It also announced that it will no longer tolerate the harvesting of textile animal fibres in a way that inflicts needless suffering on animals. The decision, it estimates, will have an impact on its procurement activities and will be reflected on its shelves in the course of next year. “All Sokos' suppliers will have to take the decision into account in their operations,” it states.

The announcement has been met with both delight and disappointment at the Finnish Parliament.

“Sokos will no longer accept fur products or fur accessories to its selection! This is great news. A proud customer-owner thanks the S Group,” Emma Kari (Greens) wrote on Facebook.

She also assured that she will continue to work towards prohibiting fur farming in Finland. “It is nevertheless great that Finnish companies are standing up for animals, while the central administration is not,” said Kari.

Antti Kurvinen (Centre) and Mikko Kärnä (Centre) have contrastively expressed their disappointment with the decision to pull furs and fur-trimmed products from the shelves of Sokos, describing it as populist and as an indication of a double standard. The decision, they argue, could be considered somewhat logical if also the sales of faux fur products, which according to them are comparable to plastic bags in terms of environmental impact, were suspended.

“[Sokos] instead decided to wind down domestic and the most ethical fur farming in the world,” they slammed. “Fur farming will continue as long as there is demand for fur. Decisions such as this jeopardise domestic fur farming and simply transfer it to countries without animal welfare standards.”

Kurvinen and Kärnä also point out that domestic fur farmers operate entirely without state subsidies, generate hundreds of millions of euros in export revenues and sustain the economy of several small localities. They urge everyone who wants to stand up for domestic fur farmers to boycott the clothing sections of Sokos.

Elina Lappalainen, a deputy chairperson of the Finnish Centre Youth, reminds that the views of Kurvinen and Kärnä do not reflect those of the wider ranks of the Centre Party. “The Centre also has members who think the decision is a positive one. For once a decision on furs has not taken anything away from anyone,” she writes in a blog on Puheenvuoro.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Handout – S Group
Source: Uusi Suomi