According to data from international organizations, the fashion industry is one of the most polluting, responsible for 20% of wastewater and 10% of carbon emissions. Every June 5th is World Environment Day, and although the fashion industry is one of the causes, little by little the firms are betting on sustainability in the making of their clothes in each collection, choosing not to use animal skins, and the concept of cruelty free also in cosmetics.
One of the last to announce its withdrawal was the Italian luxury brand Prada, which will stop using animal skins in its collections and joins the long list of firms that have stopped producing garments with this material. Applauded by animal defense associations, Prada announced that it will no longer use furs in its women’s collection for the coming spring and summer of 2020.
“Innovation and social responsibility are part of the founding values of the Prada Group. The decision to adopt a ‘skin-free’ policy is an important step,” explained the artistic director, Miuccia Prada. “The research and development of innovative materials will allow the company to explore new frontiers in terms of creation, while meeting the demand for more ethical products,” she added.
In Argentina, the actress Marcela Kloosterboer has her exclusive footwear and leather goods brand under the concept of cruelty free. Recently mom, the entrepreneur is in charge of Klooster’s, a family project that she created with her cousin Maria Pomarada.
“I decided to do it out of necessity to give the country an option not to use leather and by researching with my cousin and partner, we were able to offer something beautiful and cruelty-free with good designs,” explained Marcela in a dialogue with Infobae about how she started with her brand.
The actress, who is also the image of her brand, had this to say about firms that still use fur: “In the 21st century, brands can no longer use animal skins. I can’t stand it and it has no justification whatsoever, many times they skin the animals alive or electrocute them via the anus, these are tremendous things they do to them, it’s no longer ethical, you have to have respect for life. I understand that it is fashionable but I think that the use of furs should cease to exist.
In her opinion, Marcela Kloosterboer said that in Argentina the cruelty-free clothing and footwear movement has not yet taken off and she believes that it is because of costs, but she believes that “we are on the way to it”, and that the big brands should set the example so that the rest will be encouraged to start. “I think it’s a worldwide trend to become aware of animals,” he concluded.
What does it mean when a product is “Cruelty Free”? As a first impression it has to be marked with a rabbit. That indicates that the product was not tested on animals. Among the best known foundations is PETA. These NGOs have the objective of defending animals and protecting them from the torture they are usually subjected to.
Which are the luxury firms that decided to eliminate real leather in their collections until June 2019
Calvin Klein: Since 1994 the American firm decided to become fur free, when a member of the PETA group visited the brand and showed a video with the mistreatment of animals where they removed their skins to make the garments.
Stella McCartney: She was the pioneer of the movement that emerged in 2001, famous for her commitment to the environment. She’s an eco-friendly brand and her collections don’t use leather, fur or feathers. For her 2015 winter collection, she presented synthetic, long-haired, fur-free coats to promote Stella McCartney’s cruelty-free philosophy.
Tommy Hilfiger: Since 2007 Tommy joined the luxury animal cruelty free houses including some of their fragrances. “The company will stop developing any products containing fur and any fur garments already in production will be removed from the sales channels by the delivery of the spring 2008 collection,” said Hilfiger at the time and never used real fur in his collections again.
Armani: Giorgio Armani said that thanks to new technologies, practices with animal skins are unnecessary, so he decided to make his brand fur free. He stopped doing so in 2016 for all his lines including Armani Privé and Emporio Armani.
Gucci: In 2017, the company’s CEO had already announced that its creative director Alessandro Michele would incorporate it into his 2018 summer collections. “The alternatives are luxurious and there is simply no need,” he said. And finally he removed it from all his collections, drawing the attention of all Gucci brand lovers and one of the most prominent news stories of the time.
Ralph Lauren: In addition to constantly campaigning, Ralph Lauren are a fur free brand with the abandonment of their use since 2006 with a statement that said: “Pel has never been an integral part of our design strategy. We want to announce this decision because the use of fur has been subject to internal review and it is the right time to take action”. Since then, Ralph Lauren has stopped using them and is making them with synthetics.
Versace: the Italian firm in 2014 joined forces with the company Cnmi Sustainability Working Group and implemented its sustainability pillars: promoting young talent, developing diversity and using sustainable materials, which goes hand in hand with Donatella Versace’s announcement not to use animal skins in its collections. From there Versace is fur free.
Michael Kors: The American designer, said: “Thanks to the enormous technological advances available today in materials, we have the possibility of creating luxury with the same aesthetics without real skins” and removed real skins from his brand. Joining the luxury brands that are cruelty free.
DKNY: They announced that by 2019 they will add to the list of brands that will no longer have real leather on their garments in the following seasons.
Burberry: Riccardo Tisci’s company has stopped using real leather in all their products since the last fashion week in London. “Modern luxury means being socially and environmentally responsible. This belief is fundamental to us at Burberry and is key to our long-term success. “We are committed to applying the same creativity to all parts of Burberry as we do to our products,” said Burberry CEO Marco Gobbetti in a statement.
How was the first vegan-cruelty free fashion week?
The date was in Los Angeles. For the first time in the history of fashion, the fashion industry was able to hold a specialized fashion week for brands that sell their cruelty-free products, where veganism took centre stage for four days.
The event sought to become more than a showcase for trends, as the aim of this novel proposal is clear: to open up the debate and raise awareness about cruelty to animals when manufacturing the garments.
Some of the designers who showed their fur free collections:
– Mink: Californian lifestyle. Founded in 2000, it is dedicated to handcrafted clothing and footwear design that ranges from sophisticated stilettos to winter boots.
– Enda: was created in 2015 in New York by Japanese designer Ran Enda, who previously worked for Ralph Lauren and Diane von Furstenberg cultivating a unique vision of the industry.
– Taylor & Thomas: presented a line of shoes ranging from booties to moccasins to ballerinas.