Here is University of Edinburgh’s response to our Freedom of Information request:
Q: Does your HE establishment have a policy on the use of fur?
A: Neither the University nor ECA have a written policy on this topic
Q: Does real fur feature in any of your fashion or design courses, and if so, in what way?
A: ECA’s fashion programmes are actively anti-fur. ECA does not work with fur companies or allow the use of real fur in student collections. They do not and would not endorse or show real fur on their catwalks and actively discourage students from using real fur. The topic is discussed verbally with students during teaching at various points, both as it arises in students’ proposed practice and in relation to ethics, with the aim of ensuring students make informed choices for their practice and career.
Q: What financial support, including sponsored competitions do you receive from the fur industry?
A: The University has not paid or received any monies to or from these specific organisations and has received no money for sponsorship. No names exist on our sales or purchase ledgers that demonstrate a connection with the fur trade. The University has procedures for the due diligence review of donations. The University’s Ethical Fundraising Advisory Group (EFAG) considers and advises whether the sources and purposes of prospective donations and philanthropic fundraising are ethically acceptable. Further information about EFAG and its remit is available online at https://www.ed.ac.uk/governance-strategic-planning/governance/universitycommittees/othercommitteesandgroups/efag.
Q: Does your HE establishment allow or facilitate the fur industry to promote design competitions, summer schools, sponsorships, internships, or scholarships?
A: I contacted the areas of the University most likely to hold this information: ECA, the Careers Services, and the Scholarships and Student Funding Services team. As above, ECA does not work with fur companies. The Scholarships and Student Funding Services team have no record of funding tied directly to the fur industry. No roles which mention fur are listed on MyCareerHub, the University’s service which lists job adverts and employers. Similarly, we do not have any of the companies you mention on our database.
This university discourages the use of fur but has no written policy to support this.
Please urge the University to adopt a written fur free policy. Email: Mal Burkinshaw, Programme Director, Fashion, School of Design, firstname.lastname@example.org