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Keep West Hollywood In Fashion | West Hollywood R.I.P. | Vol. 5

If you spend hundreds of thousands of hard-earned taxpayer dollars trying to attract large fashion brands to your district; then shine the spotlight on West Hollywood’s image as a fashion destination to rival all others, one would think such an investment would be taken seriously. One would think that the West Hollywood City Council would protect the interests of their actual residents and business owners after investing in their city’s image…

Oh yeah, I forgot that this is the same city that just spent over $40K to put on the much needed “Go-Go Boy Appreciation Day.” Recession… What recession?

 

If city council wasn’t that serious about WeHo as a fashion destination, why else would they invest so heavily in events like Structures & Style Fashion Blueprints and Fashion’s Night Out. Considered the epicenter of design, West Hollywood City Council was just smart enough to exclude the use of fur for home apparel in the proposed ban. Hmm, are they now trying to tell us that the design community is more important than the fashion community? Or could the design community become the next industry caught in this ugly snare?

 

For the past few months as this issue has heated up, the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, along with its retail coalition, has systematically proposed that City Council look towards a more reasonable approach to this issue, by way of a  fair trade labeling option, which would educate consumers as opposed to regulating them and the businesses they frequent. Why is it that when it came to high caloric food intake in restaurants, we accepted and adopted calorie count information labeling to educate customers?

And when it came to pesticides in food, grocery stores across the nation adopted an organic labeling system to give consumers the right to choose their produce. Both of these issues had a direct impact on public health and safety, and in both cases a labeling system was adopted as an acceptable and sufficient remedy.

What about when labor issues arose in the coffee trade, and “fair trade” labeling was accepted as the solution across the U.S. (West Hollywood included). Oh…and then there is the blood diamond issue again. Funny that no push was made by this “cruelty-free” city to ban the sale of diamonds!

Why then, with the sale of fur apparel, which poses no threat to public safety, does the West Hollywood City Council not even acknowledge or try to adopt a labeling system as put forth by the fashion community.

The labeling system in question in this fur ban issue, Origin Assured , pushes education versus regulation and gives consumers peace of mind in knowing that a fur garment was sourced from a region in which guidelines are followed for responsible and humane standards of fur production. Hence, the consumer is armed with knowledge and not stripped of her or his right to choose.

And, unlike other labeling schemes already deemed acceptable, this program is independently monitored by one of the world’s leading independent trade inspection and certification companies.

This type of approach would help businesses act more responsibly and allow consumers to become more empowered–all without the sacrifice of business or free choice.

Ted Stafford, President of Stafford Commercial Real Estate, one of the leading commercial real estate firms servicing West Hollywood states, “In this City predicated on the principles of civil liberties for all, it is unconscionable that some members of our City Council are attempting to dictate what some of the retailers that we have stried so hard to attract to the City are allowed to sell. What happened to laissez-faire? If the City Council feels so compassionate about this issue they should start a campaign to educate the public instead of interfering in the business practices of others.”

So what do the people of West Hollywood want when it comes to the fur ban? West Hollywood City Council is claiming that residents overwhelmingly support the ban. Then what to make of the numerous polls -done by TMZ, KTLA and even the online arbiter of West Hollywood opinions, WeHo Confidential- that show the public as staunchly opposed to the fur ban?

The comments on these polls range from quite humorous and thought provoking to downright outrage at West Hollywood City Council for even broaching such a topic. Or how about the results of a recent public records request from city hall indicating that following the public announcement of the proposed ordinance, the City Council is receiving letters opposing the fur ban at the rate of 2:1!

Check out the results of a recent poll on WeHo Confidential:

Should West Hollywood Implement a Fur Ban?

Yes 14.97%
No 66.31%
I don’t give a fu(k this is sunny California you IDIOTS 18.72%

 

So, West Hollywood City Council, who are you listening to? What are you listening to? Surely it’s not the business community that makes up your district and pays taxes! Clearly it not the people either. Who is it, then? It is a fact that you left the table at the end of the October 3rd City Council meeting stating that you were going to “hold” further decisions pending further investigation and discussion with business owners in the district.   Yet, in a meeting two night’s ago a council member noted that they weren’t particularly concerned about what the business community had to say, adding that the businesses were greedy. It begs the question…What is really going on here? Wrong and strong is not the way to go and the focus should be on making fair and balanced decisions for our community that will allow it to thrive and flourish. Keep fashion alive in West Hollywood and don’t let our fashionable WeHo become We-WHO? to the world of fashion.

For more information on the West Hollywood fur ban, read The Fur Insider’s complete coverage:

West Hollywood R.I.P. | Vol. 1 | Vol. 2 | Vol. 3 | Vol. 4 | Vol. 5 | Vol. 6 | Vol. 7 | Vol. 8 | Vol. 9

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