- Vivian Hendriksz |
The start of London Fashion Week has stirred debate concerning the industry's ongoing use of fur, as animal rights organizations tap into the momentum surrounding the event to remind consumers of the health hazards and animal cruelty linked to fur production.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) staged a protest at Brewer Street Car Park, on Friday morning during the opening of London Fashion Week during which models donned gasmasks to remind attendees of the toxic and potentially carcinogenic chemicals used in fur manufacturing.
"There's nothing fashionable about fur torn from the bodies of struggling animals and then laden with chemicals that are dangerous to people who wear it", commented PETA Associate Director Elisa Allen. "PETA is urging kind people to choose fur-free clothing for the sake of their own health and animal welfare."
PETA and Humane Society International use London Fashion Week as a platform to initiate the debate on fur
London Fashion Week's bi-annual showcase includes collections from designers such as Alexander McQueen, Belstaff, Burberry and Roksanda who typically use animal fur and can have a huge influence on high street trends, stressed the Humane Society International/UK, who recently published an undercover video highlighting the ongoing animal cruelty at Chinese fur farms.
As one of the largest fur producing countries in the world, China 'produced' 13 million foxes and 14 million raccoon dogs in 2014, with close to 7 million pounds worth of fur skins and product making their way to the UK from China and Hong Kong. Research has shown that UK consumers are often duped into buying real fur due to inproper labelling as a result.
"There is nothing glamorous about the squalid conditions on fur farms and lifelong misery of these abused animals," said Claire Bass, Executive Director of HSI/UK. "Life is cheap on the fur farms of China and elsewhere, so much so that fox and raccoon dog fur trim can be bought for only a few pounds or pence. These hats, coats and accessories are so inexpensive that consumers often wrongly assume the fur is fake.""We’re urging designers and retailers to go fur-free, and we’re campaigning for clear labelling of animal fur to allow consumers to make an informed ethical choice. Our video is a timely reminder to shoppers to be extra vigilant when buying what they might assume is fake fur – animals are dying for shoppers to know the difference." Photos: PETA and Humane Society International