Prada And Valentino Ban Kangaroo Skin And Alpaca Wool In Their Collections. It’s About Time Fashion Grew A Conscience
There was a time, probably in the 50s and 60s, when wearing clothes and accessories made of pure leather, fur and wool was a huge fashion statement. This was at the cost of millions of animal suffering and getting killed in the process, every year. However, thankfully, times have changed, albeit slightly. Now, consumers are conscious and sensible towards these cohabitants. Which is why the demand has evolved and with that has come a revolution of vegan fashion, sending the demand for animal-derived clothing, plummeting. Although not every fashion brand has given up on animal skin and fur, there are some who are bringing about a change.
Italian fashion brand Prada has announced that by the end of next year, it will completely ban the use of kangaroo leather for its future collection stating that it hasn’t used it for more than a year now. Another fashion giant Valentino followed suit and vowed to give up the use of alpaca wool for its clothing. Before this, fashion houses like Versace, Chanel, Victoria Beckham and Paul Smith confirmed to have cut back on kangaroo leather this year while Valentino became the first luxury brand to ban alpaca fleece.
YES! @Prada stopped selling kangaroo leather!
Who's next? https://t.co/JMIxExbYkC
— PETA (@peta) August 14, 2020
Leather is often derived from animals like cows, pigs, alligators, ostrich and kangaroos. You might not know this but kangaroo leather is actually vastly used in fashion production. Peta.org.au says, “Some 2.3 million kangaroos are reportedly killed every year for their skin. To produce leather, the animals are first shot. Then, the injured kangaroos – as well as orphaned joeys – are decapitated or hit sharply on the head to “destroy the brain” before their skin is torn off so it can be exported and made into accessories often labelled as k-leather.” The Prada Group banning kangaroo leather is a step towards shutting down the toxic leather industry for good. “We’re delighted that Prada has made the right decision to end its involvement in the barbaric killing,” it continued.
Talking about the use of alpaca wool, it has earned quite a reputation for its butter-soft fibres that make for great warm and soft winter clothing. But the reality behind this shiny wool is full of torment, suffering and killings. These animals are often raised in fur farms, crammed in tiny places and shaved off by shearers. They are handled recklessly which often cause fractures and permanent nerve damage, if their lives are spared. Makes you wonder what kind of barbarians would do that to make a piece of clothing. You’ll be surprised to know that many brands are using it to supply the high demand it has. Before Valentino, Marks & Spencer, UNIQLO and Esprit are some clothing brands that stopped the used of alpaca wool in its products. “Valentino’s savvy and compassionate choice will prevent many alpacas from being tortured for fashion,” says PETA spokesperson Emily Rice.
— Syuzanna Alexander (@suzaalexander) August 17, 2020
This is a great move by the fashion brands yes, but we also need to understand that a designer will keep on catering the needs of a customer as long as there is demand for animal material in fashion. Until and unless we ditch leather, fur and wool in our clothes and accessories, these innocent animals will continue to bear the brunt of our insensitive fashion choices.
Few months ago, actor Sunny Leone partnered with Peta India to pledge going fashionably vegan and urge fans to do the same. She said, “With so many wonderful vegan shoes, bags, and jackets to choose from, there’s no reason to choose to hurt the environment and take a life by wearing an animal’s skin.” She further added, “After learning about the horrors of leather production from my friends at PETA India, I vow to save animals and the planet by kicking leather to the curb and urge my fans to join me.” This is the responsible fashion choice every fashion lover need to make so animals don’t suffer.
Think about it, to make one piece of high-priced jacket or coat, that you can do without BTW, these animals are abused and nailed while their skin is peeled off. This barbaric procedure often ends up killing the defenceless and vulnerable animals. That’s not all. To preserve the animal skin and tanning leather, toxic chemicals like chromium are used which pollute water when dumped and cause cancer, skin disease and respiratory disorders to the workers working in these tanneries. So basically, these leather bag, shoes and clothes are no good for anyone. Why do we need them then?
A lot of fashion brands have come under fire for their unethical practices and animal cruelty in the recent past. This move by the fashion brands Prada and Valentino is a leap towards sensible and sustainable fashion. We think every fashion brand should take a leaf out of their book to stop the animal cruelty and make space for vegan fashion in future, not to mention every fashion lover needs to opt for vegan fashion so that no animal suffers.