Sydney – PETA is celebrating after luxury fashion company Puig – owner of labels Jean Paul Gaultier, Paco Rabanne, Carolina Herrera, Nina Ricci, and Dries Van Noten – confirmed it will stop selling items made from the skins of snakes, crocodiles, and other exotic animals. The family-owned Spanish company, which “aims to leave a better world for the next generation”, has assured PETA UK that “steps have already been taken to no longer use exotic skins” for its CH Carolina Herrera sub-brand, meaning the crocodile and python accessories currently available will be its last.
“Each and every item made out of exotic skins came from an animal who endured a violent, bloody death,” says PETA Senior Outreach and Partnerships Manager Emily Rice. “We at PETA applaud Puig’s compassionate and logical decision and are calling on other brands and retailers still selling cruel exotic skins to follow suit.”
PETA has released several exposés of the exotic-skins industry revealing rampant cruelty. A recent PETA Asia exposé shows that pythons’ mouths and anuses are closed off with rubber bands and workers cut a hole in either the snakes’ heads or tails to insert a hose and inflate the animals with an air compressor, causing them to suffocate to death. Alligators are commonly kept in fetid water inside dank, dark sheds until slaughter, when their necks are hacked open and a metal rod is shoved up into their brains, often while they’re fully conscious. And year-old ostriches are transported by truck to abattoirs, where workers flip them upside down, stun them, and slit their throats.
The exotic-skins industry also poses a significant public-health risk: experts warn that these unsanitary and crowded conditions are the perfect breeding ground for viruses such as the one that caused the COVID-19 pandemic – which is believed to have originated in a live-animal market similar to the farms where exotic skins come from.
Puig’s brands join a growing list of top designers and retailers – including Calvin Klein, Chanel, Victoria Beckham, Paul Smith, Selfridges, and Mulberry – which have all banned the sale of exotic skins.
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – is calling on other leading fashion brands, such as Louis Vuitton and Hermès, to introduce a ban on exotic skins. The group opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview.