Helsinki Fashion Week Goes Leather-Free After PETA Appeal

For Immediate Release:

13 August 2018


Sascha Camilli +44 (0) 20 7923 6244; [email protected]


Sustainability-Focused Fashion Week Will Be the First to Ban Leather, Starting in 2019

Helsinki – After receiving a letter from PETA, the sustainability-focused Helsinki Fashion Week has pledged to prohibit leather, starting with its July 2019 events.

In a statement that extensively cites information about the leather industry supplied by PETA, Helsinki Fashion Week founder Evelyn Mora says, “We at Helsinki Fashion Week, with the support of the Nordic Fashion Week Association, are taking an active stand against cruelty to animals and the damaging environmental impacts that the use of animal leather brings with it.”

“By banning leather, Helsinki Fashion Week will become a groundbreaking, cutting-edge presence on the fashion scene,” says PETA Director Elisa Allen. “PETA looks forward to seeing animal- and eco-friendly vegan fabrics take over Helsinki catwalks in 2019 and beyond.”

In its letter, PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – pointed out that the leather industry subjects more than 1 billion animals every year to intensive confinement, castration without pain relief, extreme crowding, and a terrifying trip to the abattoir. Leather is a lucrative co-product of the meat industry, which is one of the world’s biggest polluters and contributors to climate change. And tanneries – which use formaldehyde, coal-tar derivatives, cyanide-based dyes, and other dangerous chemicals – are notorious for polluting nearby water and soil.

For these reasons and others, vegan leather – made from pineapple leaves, grapes, mushrooms, cork, and more – is on the rise. Top designers including Stella McCartney, Vika Gazinskaya, and Felder Felder all refuse to use animal leather in their designs, and two-thirds of millennials reportedly would pay more for sustainably made items.

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