Last week Karl Lagerfeld opened his controversial trap to declare that using fur in fashion is totally cool and that Fendi's debut haute couture show will be all about it. This has started us thinking about whether it's cool to use animal products for fashion, and if it is, the most ethical ways in which this can be done.
Enter Heidi and Adele, a leather bag and wallet company, which is using bi-products from the seafood industry to create high-end fashion products.
The company was started by two friends, Heidi Carneau and Adèle Taylor, who share a passion for both fashion design and environmentalism. According to Springwise, the company has sourced fish leather – that looks like highly covetable reptile skin – from suppliers across the globe (eel skin comes from South Korea, salmon leather comes from Iceland). All of this leather was previously destined for the landfill.
Environmental ethics in fashion is becoming a big issue, and brands are under increasing pressure to reveal their supply chains and how their materials are sourced.
Honest By, a website founded by the former creative director of Hugo Boss, Bruno Pieters, is an excellent example of transparent retailing. For example, Honest By tells you everything about this bomber jacket, from the fact that the fabric was made in Turkey, to the fact that the swing tag is made from recycled paper.
A footwear company in Uruguay, Mamut, recently offered customers credit towards their shoes in exchange for plastic bottles, in order to raise awareness for cleaning up local beaches. On a grander scale, Nike recycled 13 million plastic bottles to create their 2010 Football World Cup jumpers, which were constructed from nylon that was made from the bottles.
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