That was the message that activists from PETA Australia sent to designer Giorgio Armani earlier this year when they posed as naked corpses in coffins outside one of the company’s Sydney stores.
Despite knowing how cruel the fur industry is, Armani continues to sell rabbit fur from China. His collections include fur-trimmed jackets, fur-hemmed skirts, floral-print fur coats, and even fur-trimmed snowsuits for babies. This is after the designer told Time magazine, “I spoke with the people from PETA [U.S.], and they showed me some materials that convinced me not to use fur”. In reality, PETA US attempted to show Armani the video footage, but he refused to watch it.
PETA Asia-Pacific’s video footage from an undercover investigation in China shows rabbits crammed into filthy cages that are encrusted with urine and faeces. Workers at the farm pull rabbits from cages by their ears and shoot them in the head with handheld electrical devices– often multiple times – while the terrified animals kick and scream. Then the rabbits are hung upside-down and decapitated.
The video footage was taken at a rabbit fur farm in Shandong, China, where there are no penalties for abusing animals on fur farms. The farm has 11,000 rabbit cages and produces 600,000 rabbit pelts every year.
Cats and dogs are among the animals killed for their fur in China, and imported fur is often intentionally mislabelled so that if you wear any fur, there’s no way of knowing whose skin you’re in.
But as Myer, Calvin Klein, Stella McCartney, Alannah Hill, David Jones, Rachel Gilbert and other major designers and department stores have recognised, whether fur has come from a dog kept in a filthy wire cage in China or a rabbit gassed to death in Australia, there is no such thing as ethical fur.
Fortunately, there is no need to be cruel to stay warm and look cool. Faux furs are available in stores everywhere, and PETA continues to work with leading designers and clothing retailers to encourage them to use and sell fashions made exclusively from animal-friendly materials.
It’s time for Armani to step out of the dark ages and accept that fur is dead.
Posted by Claire Fryer