“The champagne corks are popping at PETA”, said the organization’s Director of International Programmes, Mimi Bekhechi, on an email to FashionUnited. The reason? Luxury fashion house Chanel is reported to have banned the use of fur and exotic skins, including crocodile, lizard, snake and stingray, from its future collections. “For decades, PETA and its affiliates have called on the brand to opt for luxury, cruelty-free fashion that no animal had to suffer and die for”, explained Bekhechi.
Bruno Pavlovsky, President of Chanel Fashion and Chanel SAS, is quoted by the WWD as saying that “there is a problem of supply [of fur and exotic skins] and that was not Chanel’s business anyway”. Although the label is not known for using much fur in its creations, Pavlovsky added that the future of its high end products “will come from the know-how of what our atelier is able to do”.
Handbags, coats and shoes made from snake, crocodile and stingray skin command premium prices, with Chanel handbags made from them reportedly selling for up to 9,000 euros (approximately 10,300 US dollars). Python skin bags were removed from Chanel's website Tuesday, although secondhand bags were still on sale from more than 5,500 euros (6,242 Us dollars) from online resale sites.
Now that PETA no longer has to ask Chanel to reconsider its use of fur and animal skins, the animal rights organization announced it will concentrate its efforts on other luxury labels that still haven’t done so. “It's time for other companies, like Louis Vuitton, to follow the lead of the iconic double Cs and do the same”, said Bekhechi.
Update: Chanel told FashionUnited in a statement that the company will restrict itself to using skins "derived from the food industry".