“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”—Malcolm S. Forbes.
WARNING. ECOUTERRE-LINK CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT. I apologize for this post. I´d love to keep things here nice and sweet, but every now and then I have to write and post about shit like this. Fashion is sometimes a really ugly business and I´d hate to have you contribute to it without knowing better. As responsible consumers we sometimes have to read about the serious issues and sides of fashion. Not just the fun glittery stuff. Please don´t click the Ecouterre-link open if you can´t handle the images. I cried when I watched the video in their post. Reuters also reported about this with interviews.
This post is about animal cruelty and fashion. I had to write it as this topic was brought to my attention (again) by an article in Ecouterre. It was titled "Dogs Are Being Skinned Alive in China to Make Leather Gloves". I admit that, when you read the article and if you watch the video, one can argue that the title might have been a bit misleading, but the fact remains that the treatment of the animals in the video is disturbing. As a consumer of fashion, you do not want to support things like that. The only way to do this is to check the origin of the product you consume and demand actions from the brands you buy. You also have the option of not to buy. It is a choice.
It is appalling how some countries have no regulation for keeping and putting down (industrial) animals. And by industrial animals, I mean all animals that are kept for making food or grown for their hides. If it is "made in China" and marked as real/genuine leather, I´d leave it at the store because you have no way of knowing how it has lived. The odds are that it has suffered. I hope you realize that this is post is not just about gloves, but any leather product like shoes, belts, bags, other accessories, clothes ect. Same goes for fur products. Also when buying leather goods that are marked "made in your own country / Europe", ask the retailer, if also the material (leather) is locally produced. Many labels use imported leather/fur parts in their products but are not obligated to mark it in the labels as the percentage of the material is too small to be noted in the whole product.
I have been hoping for years that EU would enforce by law that fashion labels specify which animal leather is used in the product. It isn´t all cow and meat/food industry byproduct as we´d like to think. And even if it was, the animals do deserve a decent life. In Europe many countries have laws for putting down animals humanely. We also have rules on how they are kept and how transporting should be done. But eventually they need to be put down. Using electricity is probably the most commonly used method. It stuns the animal and passing through the heart produces an immediate cardiac arrest that also leads shortly to unconsciousness and death.
Do you think we could start an another angora-gate? If you want to contribute and pressure fashion companies to stop using chinese suppliers like this, that clearly have no respect for animals, don´t just go around fashion shops harassing staff and thinking it makes a difference. Post questions to the brands facebook pages, WRITE TO THE LABELS AND RETAILERS DIRECTLY. Link this post and ask them where does their leather come from. Send mail to their online stores customer service or contact the labels head office. Ask what type of killing method is the brands suppliers using. If you take action and make the matter public, brands have to reply.
We have done the mass action and got a reply from brands before. Many labels refused china made angora completely last year after consumers were outraged by a similar PETA video. Angora was taken out of the shops and many retailers promised to check their supply chain. The crowd seemed to be happy. For me I think the main message of the campaign was a bit lost.. The problem was not the fibre or the material, it was the supplier´s ethics. I hope the same thing does not happen here. If people just stop buying leather gloves made in China, they have done nothing. It is about all leather goods, all animal based product that are made in a country with no laws against animal cruelty. It´s about pressuring the labels to check their supply chain and promise us that the animals used to make their products have been treated and killed humanely. If this is done right, we can still use leather products.
But if you can´t find the time to look up e-mail address to mail to or write the post to Facebook (I´m not judging, I´m just pointing out a possibility), at least consider your consumption habits and choose not to buy leather goods if the brands does not tell you where the leather comes from. Check the leather´s origin form the label is it is not stated anywhere. Even if the label is local, they might supply parts and materials all around the world. If you don´t, you might end up buying yourself new shoes or your pup a new leash made from dog leather.
As usual, I´d love to hear your thoughts on this.
#fashion #madeinchina #animalcruelty #leather #mansbestfriend