Swedish designer Ann-Sofie Back has been added to the fur-free retailer list of Swedish animal rights organisation Djurens Rätt – her brand BACK has been fur-free ever since its inception. Starting with her next collection, AW15, Back will take her compassionate stance one step further by saying no to leather.
‘It’s easy to refrain from fur as it’s such a niche product. This is why I want to stop using leather as well, which for some reason is completely acceptable. There is a misconception that the skin is taken from animals which are getting eaten anyway and that is rarely the case’, says the designer.
Ann-Sofie is, of course, right: leather is so much more than a meat by-product. Animals suffer and die by the thousands every year to fuel the lucrative leather industry, and we’re not just talking cows: in China, where there are no regulations regarding labelling (or any animal cruelty, for that matter), a part of all exported fur and leather is estimated to come from dogs and cats. The most sought-after and lucrative leather is that of calves, who are killed at a few months old.
Alternatives to leather have the potential to be less harsh on the planet (raising animals for leather strains our planet, and tanneries operate toxic processes that can be harmful to both the environment and humans) and pack serious staying power: see BAREL Ethical Luxury, Jill Milan and Beyond Skin to name a few.
Vilda applauds Ann-Sofie Back for taking a kind stance and refusing to be part of the cruel leather industry – if a few innovators lead the way, surely more are bound to follow.
All photos courtesy of BACK.
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