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Selfridges to ban exotic skins from next year

Published
Feb 26, 2019
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Selfridges has become the latest big name to move beyond a ban on fur to include exotic skins in its list of prohibited materials. That will include animals such as pythons, alligators, crocodiles and lizards.


Snakeskin is one of the exotic materials being banned by Selfridges



It means the retailer’s leather offer will only include skins from agricultural livestock such as cow/calves, sheep/lambs, pigs, goats, and water buffalo. The ban will start in exactly one year from now. 

The company hasn’t sold fur since 2005, which at the time put it in the vanguard of the luxury sector’s rejection of real fur. 

But exotic skins continued to be sold there just as the on-going presence of such materials in many designer collections and at many stores globally became a target issue for campaigning groups such as PETA and the Human Society International (HSI).

The Selfridges move follows a commitment made nearly three years ago to make sure that half of its products are “better for people and planet” by 2022. This has included a close look at its plastic footprint and the removal of single-use plastics from its operations. Two years ago it started using carrier bags from upcycled coffee cups and this year has seen the launch of garment bags made from recycled plastics.

Buying director Sebastian Manes said of the latest development: “We will continue in our ambition to inspire our brands and customers through thoughtful, ethical and transparent buying strategies.”

HSI/UK Executive Director Claire Bass said on Tuesday: “It is wonderful to see Selfridges end the sale of exotic skins, a move that will save countless crocodiles and snakes from losing their lives. When Selfridges went fur-free more than a decade ago, it positioned itself as a retailer at the forefront of compassionate fashion. Banning exotic skins in recognition of the serious animal welfare issues that exist in this industry is a natural next step for a responsible retailer.”

Exotic skin bans have also been announced by Victoria Beckham and Chanel recently.

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