Day four of Afterpay Australian Fashion Week (AAFW) has seen stylish crowds show their support for cruelty-free fashion with models and influencers calling for change alongside animal welfare organisations.
Global animal welfare charity, World Animal Protection, and ethical fashion organisation, Collective Fashion Justice hosted an activation on day four of fashion week calling for a ban on fur, exotic skins and feathers in fashion, as they welcomed a recent move by Afterpay to progress towards a wildlife-free future for fashion week.
Afterpay recently confirmed that they have worked with designers to ensure no fur or exotic skins will be used in Afterpay sponsored consumer shows at this year’s fashion week, and will work with World Animal Protection, Collective Fashion Justice and Four Paws on further progress. The move comes as Melbourne Fashion Week recently strengthened its policy, currently banning exotics skins and fur from its show.
It comes following the release of a new report, Cruelty is Out of Fashion, which details who in the fashion industry is leading moves to avoid animal cruelty, and who is lagging behind.
Growing industry support for ethical fashion has seen Australian brands including AAFW headline show, Dyspnea, as well as Asiyam Isabelle Quinn, TWOOBS, Unreal Fur Sans Beast and others join calls to ban wild animal materials from Sydney’s fashion week.
Ben Pearson, Country Director, World Animal Protection said:
“We saw an overwhelmingly positive response from those attending, most of whom did not want to see wild animal products on the runway. This sends the message to organisers that it’s time for the industry to align its practices with community expectations.
“We welcome Afterpay’s engagement with us on this issue and look forward to working with them to implement a ban on fur, feathers, and exotic skins across future shows. We would like to work with all event organisers, brands and fashion industry sponsors towards creating a more humane fashion industry, by urging them to leave fur, skins and feathers on the animals, where they belong
“In a sea of humane and sustainable alternatives, there is no excuse for fashion event organisers and their sponsors to allow cruelty on their runways.
“There is no way to transform a wild animal into a coat, bag or shoe without causing immense suffering.”
Emma Hakansson, Founder and Director, Collective Fashion Justice said:
“It’s clear the models, stylists and other people we engaged with at AAFW shared the values of wider Australians – fashion is far better when it protects wildlife.
“The use of wild animals in fashion is cruel and unnecessary. Sydney’s fashion week organisers, IMG, told us they don’t want to limit the creativity of designers by banning fur and exotic skins. This is a mistake – and it seems their sponsors understand this: By banning wild animals, shows like AAFW will encourage the use of newer, more ethical and sustainable alternatives to these cruel, outdated and archaic materials and foster creativity and innovation.
“Our report shows that those fashion shows and luxury brands still exploiting wild animals are lagging behind the rest of the industry. Putting in place policies that protect wild animals is the right thing to do, and it’s the smart thing to do.”
As consumers expand their understanding of how animals are used in fashion, they are increasingly shifting towards brands which can show they do not profit from animal cruelty. In a recent survey over 65 percent of Australians said that the farming and killing of wild animals for clothing and fashion accessories is unacceptable, with over 72 percent saying they would not buy products made from wild animal skins, fur or feathers.