Chanel becomes first luxury fashion label to stop using fur and animal skin in their collections

The bold move from the French luxury giant to turn its back on crocodile and lizard skin is expected to inspire other luxury labels to follow suit


                            Chanel becomes first luxury fashion label to stop using fur and animal skin in their collections

Chanel became the first major luxury labels in the world to give up using crocodile and lizard skin after announcing it will no longer use exotic animal pelts in its collections.

Bruno Pavlovsky, Chanel's head of fashion, said the brand "would no longer use exotic skins in our future creations" in a move hailed by animal rights groups. The company said it was becoming increasingly difficult to source high-quality pets in an ethical manner, Daily Mail reports.

Camilla Deterre, bag detail, attends the Chanel show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2018/2019 at Le Grand Palais on March 6, 2018, in Paris, France. (Getty)
Camilla Deterre, bag detail, attends the Chanel show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2018/2019 at Le Grand Palais on March 6, 2018, in Paris, France. (Getty)

According to the new policy adopted, Chanel will also ban fur from animals such as rabbit, mink, raccoon, etc. While coats, shoes, and handbags made from crocodile, snake, and stingray skin command premium prices, vintage Chanel handbags made from pelts sell upwards of £20,000 ($25,500) online.

Speaking to Women's Wear Daily, Chanel's veteran designer Karl Lagerfeld said that the decision to drop exotic skins was the French brand's own discretion, and not an imposition. "We did it because it's in the air. It's a free choice," he said, while touting the fact that he used fur so rarely in his designs that he couldn't remember when it last featured on the catwalk.

Karl Lagerfeld attends the Dior Menswear Fall/Winter 2016/2017 fashion show at Tennis Club de Paris on January 23, 2016, in Paris, France. (Getty)
Karl Lagerfeld attends the Dior Menswear Fall/Winter 2016/2017 fashion show at Tennis Club de Paris on January 23, 2016, in Paris, France. (Getty)

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) among many animal rights groups hailed Chanel for the move and urged other luxury brands to follow their footsteps. "There's nothing trendy about using stolen skins from tormented animals for clothing or accessories," it said. "It's clear that the time is now for all companies, like Louis Vuitton, to follow Chanel's lead and move to innovative materials that spare countless animals a miserable life and a violent, painful death." 

Chanel's decision to stop using exotic skins came out of the blue, considering that top fashion brands like Gucci, Armani, Versace and John Galliano are still contemplating the move to renounce fur. That said, quite a few luxury brands have invested in reptile farms in order to guarantee that the skins used by them are sourced ethically.



 

Claire Bass, UK Executive Director of the Humane Society International (HSI), said, "Fur is a bloody business that condemns millions of animals to miserable lives on fur farms, so HSI is delighted that Chanel has become yet another global fashion giant to drop fur from its collections. The last two years have seen an unprecedented wave of the world's top designers forgoing fur, and every single one strengthens the message that fur is firmly out of fashion. Chanel is also turning its back on exotic skins, saving countless crocodiles, lizards, snakes, and stingrays from suffering. The growth in fabulous luxury and eco-friendly fibers that don't involve animals suffering and dying is helping to drive forward this new era of ethical fashion. Fur-using brands such as Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana and Louis Vuitton need to take heed and embrace this fur-free future."