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Mulberry becomes latest luxury label to ban use of exotic skins

By Huw Hughes

May 6, 2020

Mulberry has become the latest luxury fashion brand to ban the use of exotic animal skins in its designs.

The luxury British handbag label - which already has a fur-free policy - will no longer use the skins of alligators, crocodiles, ostriches, lizards, or snakes in its collections from spring-summer 2020 onwards.

“[W]e have spent a lot of time determining and then continually reviewing our sustainability metrics and targets,” Mulberry group sustainability manager Rosie Wollacott said in a statement. “At an early stage of this process, we decided not to use exotics in our collections, and this remains our position.”

The use of animal products in fashion, which has already been a hot topic of debate in recent years, has come further under the spotlight in past months after experts linked its trade with the spread of diseases like Covid-19. The novel coronavirus, which continues to cause widespread global disruption, is speculated to have originated in a Chinese market selling wild and exotic animals.

Mulberry to no longer use exotic skins from SS20

The luxury label's decision to ban exotic skin comes after years of pressure by animal welfare group Peta, an organisation which has made a name for itself for urging companies around the world to forgo the use of animal products.

Last month, the group bought stock in nearly two dozen fashion companies, including Ralph Lauren, Urban Outfitters and Guess, in a move which allows its members to attend the fashion companies’ annual meetings and confront shareholders and management about their policies.

Director of corporate projects at Peta, Yvonne Taylor, said: “Behind every handbag or wallet made with exotic skins is an animal who suffered tremendously. Mulberry’s decision to ban these cruelly obtained materials is a sign of the times, and Peta calls on other luxury labels to follow its lead.”

Other luxury brands to ban the use of exotic fur in recent years include Paul Smith, Victoria Beckham, Vivienne Westwood, Chanel, the SMCP group, and Diane von Furstenberg.

Photo credit: Mulberry