For Immediate Release:
7 May 2020
British Luxury Brand Latest to Cut Ties With Dangerous Trade
Sydney – Following years of urging by PETA UK – and as conservation experts warn that the trade in exotic skins risks fuelling the spread of diseases like COVID-19 – luxury fashion brand Mulberry has confirmed a ban on exotic skins in all its future collections. The spring/summer 2020 season marks the brand’s first-ever departure from using the skins of alligators, crocodiles, ostriches, lizards, or snakes in its designs. It already has a fur-free policy.
“[W]e have spent a lot of time determining and then continually reviewing our sustainability metrics and targets,” says Mulberry Group Sustainability Manager Rosie Wollacott. “At an early stage of this process, we decided not to use exotics in our collections, and this remains our position.”
“Behind every handbag or wallet made with exotic skins is an animal who suffered tremendously,” says PETA spokesperson Emily Rice. “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.”
The current outbreak of COVID-19 is believed to have originated in a Chinese market where wild and exotic animals, both alive and dead, are sold for human consumption. The intense farming of exotic animals for both their flesh and their skin poses a risk of the animal-to-human transmission of newly evolved viruses. Exotic-animal farms are breeding grounds for pathogens and increase the risk of future pandemics.
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – has released several exposés of the exotic-skins industry. The group has revealed that alligators are kept in fetid water inside dank, dark sheds before their necks are hacked open and metal rods are shoved into their heads in an attempt to scramble their brains, often while they’re fully conscious. One-year-old ostriches are transported by truck to abattoirs, where workers turn them upside down in a stunner, slit their throats, and tear their feathers out. And snakes are commonly nailed to trees before their bodies are cut open from one end to the other as they’re skinned alive.
Mulberry joins Chanel, Diane von Furstenberg, Paul Smith, Victoria Beckham, Vivienne Westwood, and other brands in making the compassionate decision to ban exotic skins from all its designs. Australian designers are also being urged to leave the cruelly obtained materials in the past and out of their collections.
For more information on the cruelty inherent in the exotic-skins trade, please visit PETA.org.au.