Mulberry has confirmed it is ditching exotic skins from all its future collections.
The luxury fashion brand’s upcoming spring/summer 2020 season is the first to eschew the skins of animals including alligators, crocodiles, ostriches, lizards, and snakes.
The announcement follows years of advocacy by vegan charity PETA, which has campaigned against the use of animals in fashion on ethical and conservation grounds.
Confirming the move, Mulberry Group sustainability manager, Rosie Wollacott, said: “[W]e have spent a lot of time determining and then continually reviewing our sustainability metrics and targets.
“At an early stage of this process, we decided not to use exotics in our collections, and this remains our position.”
While the ethical implications of using animal skins in fashion has become increasingly topical in recent years, the use has come under further scrutiny in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The virus is widely believed to have originated from a wet market in Wuhan, China towards the end of 2019. Since then, it has spread globally killing more than 261,000 people worldwide.
PETA says the farming of exotic animals for both their flesh and their skins – often in intense conditions – ‘poses a risk of the animal-to-human transmission of newly evolved viruses’.
The charity says: “Exotic animal farms are breeding grounds for pathogens and increase the risk of future pandemics.”
“Behind every handbag or wallet made with exotic skins is an animal who suffered tremendously,” PETA director, Elisa Allen, said in a statement sent to Plant Based News.
“Mulberry’s decision to ban these cruelly obtained materials is a sign of the times, and PETA calls on other luxury labels to follow its lead.”
PETA adds that Mulberry, which already has a fur-free policy, joins Chanel, Diane von Furstenberg, Paul Smith, Victoria Beckham, Vivienne Westwood, and other brands in banning exotic skins from all its designs.