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Paul Smith says goodbye to exotic skins

Published
Jan 30, 2020
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British designer label Paul Smith has turned its back on exotic skins, banning their use in future collections. The ban includes python and alligator skin as well as kangaroo leather, the brand told animal rights activist group Peta.


Paul Smith


A sustainability policy published on its website states that Paul Smith also rejects the use of fur and Angora rabbit hair, while all troca or mother of pearl used for buttons and trims is handpicked or sustainably farmed.

Peta director of corporate projects Yvonne Taylor welcomed the brand’s latest ban, saying: “Behind every accessory made with kangaroo, python, or alligator skin is an animal who did not want to die. Paul Smith's decision to ban exotic skins will spare remarkable animals immense suffering.”

Paul Smith, which has 90 stores and 21 concession worldwide, joins a group of luxury retailers that are focusing on using sustainable fabrics rather than exotic skins. These include Chanel, Victoria Beckham, and luxury department store Selfridges, whose ban comes into force this week.

Peta – whose motto reads, in part, that "animals are not ours to wear" – has released several exposés of the exotic-skins industry. 

It says alligators are kept in fetid water inside dark sheds before their necks are hacked open and metal rods are shoved into their heads in an attempt to scramble their brains. One-year-old ostriches are transported by lorry to abattoirs, where workers turn them upside down in a stunner, slit their throats, and pluck their feathers. And snakes are commonly nailed to trees before their bodies are cut open from one end to the other as they're skinned alive.

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