Dampen your excitement; Hermes, Prada, Gucci and Louis Vuitton have not unleashed a range of new handbags.
Strolling through New York City’s streets this week you could have been forgiven for thinking they had.
Posters by street artist Praxis featuring Louis Vuitton’s iconic monogram bag, and Gucci’s bamboo-handle Dianna have been plastered on walls as part of a campaign by animal rights group PETA.
As you’d expect from an advocacy group that’s not afraid of causing a stir, they’ve added some very gory details.
Blood is splattered down a pink handbag, underneath a slogan calling for Prada to drop exotic skins from its range.
Hermes gets a similar treatment, with a poster showing a skinned crocodile wrapped around a rose-coloured bag.
In line with Millennial and Gen Z tastes fur has been dumped by brands including Burberry, Prada, Chanel, Vesace and Donna Karan.
Exotic skins are next on PETA’s hit list of unethical fashion items.
“Behind every snakeskin Louis Vuitton bag or lizard-skin Gucci watchband is a sensitive reptile who endured a horrific death”, PETA US executive vice president Tracy Reiman said.
Conservation group argues skins help wildlife conservation
Speaking with Yahoo Lifestyle, PETA Australia’s Angela Banovic warns shoppers there’s a dark side to every exotic fashion item on the shelves.
“For every bag, belt or pair of boots made with the skin of a crocodile, a highly intelligent and sensitive animal has been held captive, lived a horrible life, and endured unimaginable suffering before they were killed,” she said.
“We’re calling on Australians to boycott exotic skins.”
Despite concern from PETA, a number of key International Union for Conservation of Nature members have called the exotic skin trade “one of the greatest conservation success stories on Earth”.
They argued in 2019 that in countries including Australia, Mexico and the United States, placing an economic value on crocodiles has helped their recovery in the wild.
Indigenous communities in particular have benefited financially from harvesting exotic skins, according to the sustainability organisation.
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