“The wildlife trade’s connection to contagious diseases like COVID-19 should have every designer scrambling to scrap skins from snakes and crocodiles,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is asking Michael Kors, Versace, and Jimmy Choo to join the dozens of brands that refuse to profit from sensitive reptiles’ gruesome deaths.”
PETA and its affiliates have documented that in the exotic-skins industry, alligators’ necks are hacked open and metal rods are shoved into their heads; snakes are pumped full of water to loosen their skin, which is peeled off, often while they’re still conscious; and feathers are yanked out of ostriches while the birds are still alive. The squalid and severely crowded conditions in which wild animals are raised and slaughtered for their skins are similar to those that gave rise to the novel coronavirus, and they pose a potential threat of future pandemics.
Versace has already banned kangaroo skins and fur—Donatella Versace went so far as to say, “I don’t want to kill animals to make fashion. It doesn’t feel right”—and Michael Kors has banned fur and mohair, but both brands still sell products made using reptile skins. Meanwhile, Brooks Brothers, Jil Sander, Chanel, Diane von Furstenberg, HUGO BOSS, Victoria Beckham, Vivienne Westwood, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, and many other brands have banned exotic skins.
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