Animal rights organisation Peta has welcomed luxury fashion brand Gucci's decision to finally go fur-free, saying that the "writing was on the wall" for years.

The Italian fashion house, known for its fur-lined mules and statement fur coats, has vowed to stop all use of animal fur including mink, coyote, racoon dog, fox, rabbit, karakul and all other species specially bred or caught in its designs from 2018.

It means that when the brand unveils it's spring-summer 2018 collection there will be no fur on the runaway. All remaining animal fur items in stock will be auctioned off, with the proceeds going to animal rights organisations Humane Society International and LAV.

Gucci CEO Marco Bizarri announced the move during the 2017 Kering Talk at The London College of Fashion.

"Being socially responsible is one of Gucci's core values, and we will continue to strive to do better for the environment and animals," he said of the company, which is number 47 on Forbes' list of Most Valuable Brands in the World.

"With the help of HSUS and LAV, Gucci is excited to take this next step and hopes it will help inspire innovation and raise awareness, changing the luxury fashion industry for the better,' Bizarri said of the brand's decision.

Just two years ago, Gucci provoked the wrath of campaigners by launching kangaroo fur-lined shoes. They retailed from between AU$900 to AU$1500 ( £532- £887).

Gucci has now teamed up with the Fur Free Alliance – an international group of organisations that campaigns on animal welfare and promotes alternatives to fur in the fashion industry. The high-end brand follows in the footsteps of labels like Stella McCartney, Giorgio Armani, Hugo Boss, and Net-A-Porter, who have also ceased using animal fur.

"After more than 20 years of Peta protests against Gucci's kangaroo-fur loafers and seal-fur boots, Gucci has finally pledged to join Armani, Ralph Lauren, and Stella McCartney in the ranks of fur-free fashion houses," Peta's founder Ingrid Newkirk told IBTimes UK.

For years the fashion industry has been divided by the use of fur, but Peta believes that the tide is finally turning as consumers educate themselves on the cruel and unethical practice. Killing and skinning animals for fur is no longer considered glamorous.

"The writing was on the wall: Today's shoppers don't want to wear the skins of animals who were caged, then electrocuted or bludgeoned to death. Until all animal skins and coats are finally off the racks of clothing stores worldwide, Peta will keep up the pressure on the clothing and fashion industry."