No Fur or Exotic Skins at Stockholm Fashion Week
Monumental news for animals! The organiser of Stockholm Fashion Week has confirmed to PETA that this year’s (digital) runways will be free of fur and exotic skins. The positive development follows years of campaigning by PETA and discussions with the event’s new organiser, the Swedish Fashion Association.
Stockholm Fashion Week has shifted its focus towards sustainability in recent years and made efforts to reduce its carbon footprint by going digital in 2020. By now also opting not to showcase fur or exotic skins, it’s spearheading a new, compassionate, eco-friendly era in fashion.
Fur-Free Fashion Is the Norm
Wearing fur is barbaric and outdated. In 2020, being fur-free is the norm. As hundreds of designers and fashion houses have said no to the cruelly obtained material, more and more events are giving fur the cold shoulder, too. Amsterdam, Helsinki, and Oslo fashion weeks as well as Melbourne Fashion Festival have official policies against fur, and London Fashion Week hasn’t showcased any fur since 2018. As well as being fur- and exotics-free, Helsinki Fashion Week has also ditched leather from its catwalks.
We look forward to seeing other events jump on the bandwagon. No one should be killed for a killer look.
A Living Nightmare for Animals
Crocodiles, lizards, and snakes may be poached from their natural habitats or raised on squalid farms and killed in the most gruesome and painful ways before their skins are exported to Europe and used by “luxury” brands. Reptiles, just like mammals, are sensitive to pain, yet they’re frequently mutilated without any prior stunning or painkillers.
Like the animals languishing in the exotic-skins industry, minks, foxes, and others exploited on fur farms are forced to live in cramped, filthy conditions before being tormented and slaughtered for their skin. Living in packed cages – far from their native homes and with no opportunity to play, jump, run, or do anything else that comes naturally to them – often drives these inquisitive, intelligent animals insane during their short lives. Fighting, self-mutilation, and cannibalism are all too common on fur farms.
© Jo-Anne McArthur / The Ghosts In Our Machine
The fur industry doesn’t just put animals through a living hell before tearing off their skins – it’s also detrimental to the planet. A study of mink farms in Europe determined the impact of fur production with regard to 18 different environmental issues – such as the climate crisis, ozone pollution, and water and land use. For 17 of the 18 issues, fur was found to be far more harmful than any other material.
Producing 1 kilogram of fur has a carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) factor of about 130 to 140 kilograms, compared to around 6 to 7 kilograms of CO2e for 1 kilogram of faux fur.
The exotic-skins industry isn’t any kinder to the environment. Crocodile and other reptile farms have a disastrous impact on the land, water, and air. The industry destroys land to clear paths for farms; produces deadly ammonia, methane, and other greenhouse gases by keeping live animals; uses toxic chemicals to process skins; and reduces wild animal populations by trapping and killing endangered and threatened species.
Breeding Grounds for Disease
Filthy fur farms packed with sick, stressed, and injured minks are breeding grounds for disease, and facilities in the Netherlands, Spain, and Denmark have seen outbreaks of COVID-19. The situation became so dire that the Dutch Parliament voted to close the country’s last remaining fur farms this year.
SARS and the novel coronavirus first infected humans who came into close contact with captive wildlife at live-animal markets – which represent a similar public health risk to that posed by fur and exotic-skins farms.
On exotic-skins farms, many alligators and crocodiles are kept crowded together in highly unhygienic conditions in pits with putrid water. This creates an ideal breeding ground for many zoonotic pathogens – causative agents of diseases that can spread to humans from other animals– including salmonella, vibrio, Aeromonas spp, Pseudomonas spp, E coli, trichinella, and West Nile virus. Crocodilians have been found to carry all of these and can pass them on to humans.
Exotic Skins Farm
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that approximately 75% of recently emerging infectious diseases affecting humans originated in other animals.
What You Can Do
As the list of events, countries, and brands ditching fur and exotic skins continues to grow, it’s high time that all fashion events got with the times and stopped supporting the cruel skins trade.
Please join us in urging the British Fashion Council to join Stockholm Fashion Week in keeping fur off the catwalk, including at London Fashion Week.
Stockholm Fashion Week has taken a step in the right direction, but 1 million minks are still suffering on Swedish fur farms. Please send a message to Sweden’s minister for rural affairs urging her to ban fur farms now.