British luxury house Mulberry has become the latest fashion brand to cease the use of exotic skins its collection.
The SS20 season marks the brand’s first-ever departure from using the skins of alligators, crocodiles, ostriches, lizards, or snakes in its designs. Mulberry already has a fur-free policy.
“We have spent a lot of time determining and then continually reviewing our sustainability metrics and targets,” Mulberry Group Sustainability Manager Rosie Wollacott said. “At an early stage of this process, we decided not to use exotics in our collections, and this remains our position.”
The move was welcomed by animal rights group PETA, which has switched its campaigning away from fur to focus on other animal skins, following a wide-spread rejection of fur in recent years by many major fashion brands.
“Behind every handbag or wallet made with exotic skins is an animal who suffered tremendously,” said PETA Director Elisa Allen. “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 outbreak of COVID-19 is believed to have originated from a so-called wet market in Wuhan, China, 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 skins 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 said.
Other major names to have banned exotic skins from their collections include Chanel, Diane von Furstenberg, Paul Smith, Victoria Beckham and Vivienne Westwood.