In West Hollywood, Calif., an ethical fashion faux pas has been cemented into law.
Over the weekend, a citywide ban on the sale of fur apparel, passed by the city council two years ago, went into effect, making the city of 30,000 the first municipality in the nation, and likely the world, to have such a ban.
And while the ordinance has won the praises of anti-fur activists nationwide, it's ruffled some feathers within West Hollywood, especially among high-end retailers who say fur is an integral part of their business.
“When I first heard about it, it was shocking,” said David Klein, co-owner of Goldsmith and Klien, an upscale gown designer that closed its shop in West Hollywood in April and is in the process of relocating to New York. Klien said the fur ban was one of the reasons for the store's closure. "It's wrong to tell a business what to sell in your store, especially since it's certainly legal. If we had known about the fur ban, we would've never opened up in West Hollywood."