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How Animal Skins Are Used for Fashion

On this planet, there are different beautiful animals that exist in this world; snakes, zebras, cobras and so on. So, when did animals skin become a fashion for clothes?

Fabrics with patterns made from animal skin colours, were used to make dresses in the early eighteenth century. Fashion was recognised in the Middle Ages as it was in the time of wealth. For example, accessories made from animals deliberately used not as an essential.

“Critical with the use of animals but, in practice, allows anything as long as welfare is maximised and does not care about the individual but see them as containers for welfare.”

Bentham 1748-1832

Animals like rabbits, foxes, crocodiles, and cats are used in the fashion industry with their fur and skins used to make luxurious clothing. Other animals are used to make silkworm to get the thread used to make silk cloth. it is fair to say, animals used in fashion industry do suffer by the behaviour of humans.

A dog's life

One advantage of dog owners is that their pups are beloved, valid and important in their family as they are referred to as their fur babies or siblings to their human children.

''A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.'' - Josh Billings

The science

Biomimicry clothing aims at applying biological processes and organisms to material that reconnects our body to nature. As clothing relates with our bodies, we respond to our emotions and social environment.

Fashion designers get their ideas from real world animal-style inspiration that has amazing colours as they try to incorporate them into their look. For example, biomimicry is a term used as inspiration for nature as the designers study the main structure found in animals to create useful products for fashion.

The fashion industry has a third impact on animal life through its effect on biodiversity. The industry is associated with various negative practices such as land clearance for agriculture, and industrial pollution, as well as with climate change.

All these significantly affect and reduce biodiversity, which leads to a loss of animal habitats and species right across the world. The use of animal products in fashion attracts much criticism, particularly regarding animal welfare and the ethics of using animals in the twenty-first century to meet basic human needs (clothing). A counterargument is that many animal products used in garment-making (such as leather or feathers/down) are ‘by-products’ from the livestock raised and slaughtered for meat production.

The right ethics

“Through our sustainability, humanitarian and philanthropic actions, we would like Gucci to not just be synonymous with Made in Italy, but also made with integrity (…) the precise history of the chain of supply, from the birth of the cow to the beautiful final product.” Gucci Group, about eco-ethical bags

The legal methods used in the slaughter of these animals are gassing with carbon monoxide and electrocution, causing painful cardiac arrest without the animal being fully unconscious.

”Livestock production uses one-third of the world’s fresh water and the 30% of world’s ice-free surface, the developing world accounts the 75% of the global emissions from cattle and other ruminants and the 56% of the global emissions from poultry and pigs.” (Walsh, 2016).

Certain animals do not provide the results in the short time that the industry expects, leading to unethical practices such as mulesing.


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