For Immediate Release:
10 May 2017

As a Shareholder, PETA US Will Ask the Retailer to Ditch Cruel and Toxic Leather Products

Solna, Sweden – H&M maintains that “no animal should ever suffer in the name of fashion” – so why is it still selling leather? That’s the question that a PETA US representative will ask during the company’s annual meeting on in Solna, Sweden on Wednesday in a call for it to commit to using only vegan leather.

“Every leather item on H&M’s shelves comes from an industry that is hell on Earth for sensitive cows”, says PETA Australia Associate Director of Campaigns Ashley Funo. “Animals are suffering right now, and PETA is calling on H&M to live up to its claims of being an ethical, sustainable company by exclusively selling stylish, high-quality vegan leather as it has done in its Conscious collection.”

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – notes that the millions of cows whose skins are turned into leather endure dehorning and castration, often without painkillers. The animals are loaded onto crowded trucks and transported through all weather extremes to abattoirs, where they’re strung up and killed, sometimes while fully conscious. A PETA US exposé of the world’s largest leather processor – from which H&M has purchased in the past – revealed that gentle cows and bulls are branded on the face, electroshocked, and beaten.

In addition, H&M claims to be a sustainable company – but animal agriculture, which includes the leather industry, is responsible for 51 per cent of all greenhouse-gas emissions. Turning animal skins into leather requires 130 different chemicals, including cyanide, and people who work in and live near tanneries suffer from exposure to these toxic chemicals.

For more information about the cruelties of the leather industry, please visit PETA.org.au.