How animal products are affecting the fashion industry?

Throughout history, animals have been one of mans most coveted possessions. Their use has been instrumental in developing societies, from helping with agriculture to use in travel. When it comes to clothing, animals again have been incredibly important. Clothes were first made from animal fur, skin and bones amongst other natural things. Sadly, to this day the exploitation of animals for clothing occurs, but there is a growing movement towards greater care and change.

The role of animal products in fashion

Everyone has heard of fur, leather and wool. They are popular fabrics used to make clothing and other accessories. Even today, clothing made from wool is highly sought after for having better qualities than other fabrics, mainly the man-made equivalent. Men’s suits or women’s dresses made from wool are not only better quality than viscose, they are often more refined and mostly available from better quality clothes stores.

The same would apply to leather, the demand for which continues to grow. Expensive handbags to shoes are made from leather, and known brands such as Hermes and Prada continue to grow by demand.

While leather and wool are seen in a positive light, fur had rightfully developed a very negative perception and is widely shunned although it is still quietly enjoyed by a number of people who see it as a sign of prestige. Canada Goose has, in recent years, faced a severe backlash for its inhumane practices. It is PETA who led this campaign against Canada Goose, and it was PETA who started the campaign against fur through their ‘I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur’ campaign.

Animal rights and its effect on the fashion industry

The fashion industry and the mass consumption of clothes contributes to issues facing the world today. From the negative environmental impact to the animal abuse, consumers are becoming aware of the practices in the industry which are harmful.

When it comes to animal abuse and mistreatment, the fashion industry is the reason why certain practices and issues exist. Over breeding certain animals, to inhumane practices in capturing, skinning and killing animals has only increased as demand for fashion products has increased.

Worth reading: The use of animals inside the fashion industry by Bárbara Ferreira 

There seems to be a clash between those who care and are willing to leave behind habits that have negative consequences, and there are those who are becoming aware, but feel indifferent to such causes.

The sheer number of animals used in the farming industry is worrying.

Some fashion companies are starting to address animal rights and stop use of animal products. Burberry, Gucci and Versace are some brands that have banned the use of fur. There is a growing movement against malpractice and cruelty, but until human economic activity and livelihood depends on use of animals, there will not be complete change that some would like to see.

At Colity, we will continue to write about animal cruelty and malpractices by fashion brands to educate consumers, so they can make a better decision.

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