Labels taking part in the Helsinki Fashion Week will no longer be allowed to use leather in their collections, as the event’s organisers have pledged to ban the material from 2019.
In a bold move that will hopefully send a clear message to the fashion world that animal-derived materials are firmly out of fashion, the organisers of Helsinki Fashion Week have pledged to remove leather from the runway from 2019.
“We at Helsinki Fashion Week, with the support of the Nordic Fashion Week Association, are taking an active stand against cruelty to animals and the damaging environmental impacts that the use of animal leather brings with it”, said Evelyn Mora, founder of Helsinki Fashion Week, in a statement shared with the press by PETA.
In its letter, PETA stated: “The leather industry subjects more than 1 billion animals every year to intensive confinement, castration without pain relief, extreme crowding, and a terrifying trip to the abattoir. Leather is a lucrative co-product of the meat industry, which is one of the world’s biggest polluters and contributors to climate change.
“And tanneries – which use formaldehyde, coal-tar derivatives, cyanide-based dyes, and other dangerous chemicals – are notorious for polluting nearby water and soil.”
“By banning leather, Helsinki Fashion Week will become a groundbreaking, cutting-edge presence on the fashion scene”, commented PETA’s director Elisa Allen, adding that the organisation “looks forward to seeing animal and eco-friendly vegan fabrica take over Helsinki catwalks in 2019 and beyond”.
In 2016, vegetarian designer Stella McCartney debuted an innovative range of vegan leather at Paris Fashion Week, stating: “Fashion is an industry that makes a significant impact on the planet. It’s not just cool clothes and trends…”
The full statement can be viewed here.