Design house Prada will be urged to ditch exotic animal skins at its annual meeting in Milan tomorrow.
Vegan activists from animal rights charity PETA will ask Prada to alternatively agree to make unannounced visits to its suppliers with PETA to assess the animals’ welfare.
The fashion giant has admitted in the past that it can’t be sure how the animals whose skin it uses are treated – which has prompted this request.
Exotic animal skins
“PETA is confident that if Prada executives were to see first hand what’s done to the animals used to make the brand’s bags, watch straps, and shoes, they would end the sale of exotic skins immediately,” says PETA Director Elisa Allen.
“Chanel banned exotic skins after acknowledging that it can’t obtain them ethically, so Prada should follow suit and stop profiting from the suffering and death of ostriches, crocodiles, and other wild animals.”
The charity has released a video, exposé of ostrich-slaughter companies, saying: ” The footage reveals that young birds are kept on barren dirt feedlots before being crammed into lorries, transported to abattoirs, and then electrically shocked before their throats are slit.”
It has also investigated the reptile-skins industry, describing conditions the animals were kept in as ‘small, filthy concrete enclosures, some narrower than the length of their bodies’, saying the crocodiles were brutally slain by having their necks cut open and metal rods rammed down their spines. Experts report that crocodiles can remain conscious for over an hour after the spinal cord has been severed.
An undercover investigation of an ostrich slaughterhouse (Video: Prada)
Chanel and exotic skins
PETA wants Prada to follow in the footsteps of French fashion giant Chanel which announced last year that it would stop using exotic animal skins including fur; crocodile; lizard; snake; and stingray. While some products still exist in Chanel creations, they will no longer be used in upcoming collections.
Bruno Pavlovsky, President of Chanel fashion and Chanel SAS, said it has become increasingly difficult to source skins that met the company’s standards in terms of ethics and quality, and the brand will turn its R&D towards fabrics created by ‘agri-food industries’.
He added: “We did it because it’s in the air, but it’s not an air people imposed to us. It’s a free choice.”
The news was met with celebration by vegan campaigners, including those at animal rights charity PETA.
“The champagne corks are popping at PETA, thanks to Chanel’s announcement that it’s kicking fur and exotic skins – including crocodile, lizard, and snake skin – to the kerb,” PETA Director of International Programmes, Mimi Bekhechi, said in a statement sent to Plant Based News.
“For decades, PETA and its affiliates have called on the brand to opt for luxury, cruelty-free fashion that no animal had to suffer and die for, and now it’s time for other companies, like Louis Vuitton, to follow the lead of the iconic double ‘C’s and do the same.”