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Sophia Loren has been gifted a faux fur coat made by designer Stella McCartney.

The coat, made with the world’s first bio-based faux fur KOBA by ECOPEL, is a present to celebrate the screen icon’s 86th birthday.

McCartney partnered vegan charity PETA to send the garment, with both parties hoping it will inspire Loren to ditch animal fur and follow in the footsteps of Italian fashionistas like Anna Dello Russo who no longer wear the material.

‘Violent and ugly’

PETA vice president of international programs, Mimi Bekhechi, said: “The fur trade is far too violent and ugly for someone as beautiful as Sophia.

“We hope this gorgeous gift will inspire her to join the 90 percent of Italians who, having seen how foxes and other animals are beaten, electrocuted, gassed, and even skinned alive for their fur, are wholeheartedly rejecting the industry.”

The organization added that the most influential Italian names in fashion – including Armani, Prada, Versace, Furla, Gucci, and Elisabetta Franchi – have all sworn off fur.

Fur farms and COVID-19

Fur farming has been in the headlines recently, as ‘cases of COVID-19 continue to spread rapidly between workers and sick animals on European fur farms’.

PETA said: “As well as being inherently cruel, scientists now warn that fur farms could also become reservoirs for future pandemics, as the public health risk has prompted the Dutch parliament to vote to close all remaining mink farms in the country within the year.”

The charity is now calling on Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte to follow suit and close the 13 remaining mink farms in the country.

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the editor of Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle.