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Copenhagen Fashion Week sets precedent by banning exotic skins

Chloe Burney
26 March 2024

Trailblazing Copenhagen Fashion Week (CPHFW), which banned fur back in August 2022, has now introduced a policy against feathers and exotic skins.

As of next year, CPHFW will ban collections containing exotic skins or feathers from its runways. As a high-profile event on the fashion calendar taking a stance against controversial animal skins, this sets a precedent for Fashion Week organisers to follow suit.

Copenhagen Fashion Week, which is ahead of the curb when it comes to sustainability,  have a list of requirements that participants must follow. These state that designers must make "smart material choices", meaning that at least 50% of collections are "either certified, made of preferred materials or new generation sustainable materials, upcycled, recycled or made of headstock".

Over the last few years, brands including Chanel, Versace and Burberry have jumped on the banning fur bandwagon. But alligator handbags still crop up on countless runways.

In light of this news, PETA Vice President of Corporate Projects, Yvonne Taylor, said: "Skål to Copenhagen Fashion Week for raising the bar for other events by removing all exotic skins and feathers from its catwalks. This move is a logical evolution of the show’s ban on fur, introduced in 2022, and reflects what every stylish consumer has come to realise: compassion is always in fashion, ethical and environmentally friendly vegan materials are the future – and the future is now.

"Exotic skins and feathers are obtained through abhorrent cruelty. Snakes are pumped up with air or water while they’re still alive, and lizards are crudely decapitated. Workers ram metal rods down crocodiles’ spines and into alligators’ brains in an attempt to kill them and slit the throats of inquisitive baby ostriches when they’re just a year old. Now, all eyes are on other fashion week organisers, who must follow suit and immediately implement public policies against these unnecessary, unfashionable, and unethical materials.

We are yet to see if London Fashion Week will follow in Copenhagen's footsteps.

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