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Animal Ethics in Clothing and Style: Do you have standards?

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by Nosu3, Jun 12, 2012.

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  1. Nosu3

    Nosu3 Senior member

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    To move the discussion away from teh sales thread.

    Leather, fur, exotic skins, hair fabrics, etc. Some of us would like to know the history behind where our clothing products come from and if they align with our personal views. Many times we focus on the end product but the sourcing of materials also tells a story. Much of our clothes originate from animal products, leaving the possibility of unapproved practices. It also creates variability of quality. For example: Some countries (like the US and Europe) use hides that are sourced from the meat industry and are commonly vegetable-tanned (a more intensive process of tanning), while other countries like India kill the cow specifically for the hide and are more likely to chrome-tan the hide.

    ...but does it matter at all? Let's find out.

    Some brands have based their products on the subject, such as The Ethical Man line of vegan apparel. The alternative to leather is synthetics, which may spark another issue.

    This video shows practices that some may find unsettling, but still an interesting and educational look at how products can vary greatly depending on source. The subject of clothing industry starts at 3:40 if you'd rather skip to it:
    -
    [VIDEO][/VIDEO]
    (It's part of a full length documentary, Earthlings, so the clothing segment extends to another part if you are trying to see the entirety.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  2. KingJulien

    KingJulien Senior member

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    I was actually wondering how they get fur (fox, etc). Is it farmed, or what? Farmed where?
     
  3. Del-Toro

    Del-Toro Senior member

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    Great idea for a thread.

    This might help knowing some of the designers that use or have used exotic skins:

    Alexander McQueen, Armani, Bottega Veneta, BCBG, Braccialini, Bruno Magli, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Chloe, Chanel, Christian Dior, Christian Louboutin, Coach, Diego Dolcini, DKNY, Dolce & Gabbanna, Fendi, Gucci, Harrods, Hermes, Jimmy Choo, Kate Spade, Jean Paul Gaultier, Lanvin, Louis Vuitton, Longchamp, Manolo Blahnik, Marc Jacobs, Max Studio Shoes, Michael Kors, Miu Miu, Mulberry, Oscar de la Renta, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Roberto Cavali, Sergio Rossi, Stuart Weitzman, Versace, Via Spiga, Yves Saint Laurent, Zagliani and I am sure there are many more.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  4. Nosu3

    Nosu3 Senior member

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    A lot of designers have been using Nutria fur lately, Billy Reid I know has started recently. The animal is killed because it is considered a pest for damaging wetlands. The designers re-purpose the fur that would otherwise be a waste. Sounds acceptable?
     
  5. Alphataru

    Alphataru Senior member

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  6. pickpackpockpuck

    pickpackpockpuck Senior member

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    with any animal products, like skins and hair fabrics, it's really difficult to know if the animals were properly treated or not. just being informed may be the biggest challenge facing a would-be ethical consumer. where companies are getting their materials is not really widely available (or at least not easily discoverable), and then it's another challenge to figure out what the practices of that supplier are like. there's a lot more uncertainty than certainty.
     
  7. Nosu3

    Nosu3 Senior member

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    What is your point with the snakeskin boots?

    Kony was a scam from the beginning. The animal industry videos on youtube or in the film Earthlings are not opinions or suggestions, they are matter of fact evidence of what occured.
     
  8. Zeemon

    Zeemon Senior member

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    i don't buy clothing which is made by animals in sweatshops
     
    4 people like this.
  9. Alphataru

    Alphataru Senior member

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    Btw, I actually support companies that promote ethical methods, provided it's not just a scheme to lure in sales.

    However, for me to spend money, it's about two things: value and quality. Suppose two brands sell the same thing, say cordovan shoes. One sources from an ethical tanner, another from a questionable source, provided quality is the same, I'd go for the cheaper one. On the other hand, if price is the same, I'd go for the higher quality one.

    Much like how I just dont buy stuff that are made in Vietnam, or in China, it's not because I'm making a moral statement, it's because I go for quality.

    The problem with most of these ethical brands is that they neither provide value nor quality. Plenty of times, you're going to pay more for an inferior product. If they can get quality up, i'd be happy to go ethical.

    In terms of fur or sweat shop, I never had a problem. Animals harvested for their skins is no different than animals harvested for their meat. On the otherhand, I really find hunting to be a cruel sport because it's basically killing for fun. Fur actually provides a lot of untility.
     
  10. scarphe

    scarphe Senior member

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    they look nice who does not to have a pair of snakeskin boots? i have snake skin elephant shark stingray ostrich kangaroo lizard etc.. be it boots wallets.
    If you know anyone selling a real baby seal skin coat I am looking for one to give to my sister.
     
  11. Alphataru

    Alphataru Senior member

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    I was responding to Del Toro who wrote "now I feel good about wearing my Balenciagas". He has since edited it out, which makes my post seem like a non sequiteur.
     
  12. Raindrop

    Raindrop Senior member

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    If you look at how the animals you eat are produced, raised and killed, I don't think clothing is the immediate concern.

    Or the rainforest. War for oil.

    Or the labourers who assemble your smartphone.

    So many things..
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  13. Del-Toro

    Del-Toro Senior member

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    I don't understand your logic. For some reason you try and argue that ethical brands are either inferior or cost more. What are you basing this on?
     
  14. Del-Toro

    Del-Toro Senior member

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    I had it up as a sort of tongue-in-cheek thing but I didn't think people would get it so I took it down. I'm surprised because it was only up for a few seconds.

    And I think I had "At least I can feel good wearing my Balenciaga's." But I have several pairs of sneakers not a sexy ass pump.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  15. thatguymj

    thatguymj Senior member

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    Have no 'ethical concerns' about where my clothing comes from.

    I love exotic skins for shoes/belts.
     
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  16. Nosu3

    Nosu3 Senior member

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    Someone doesn't necessarily have to go with a self identified "ethical brand". I just purchase veg-tanned leather products produced in the USA or Europe where the hide is likely a meat industry waste product. India cows are killed specifically for their skin and the rest is discarded. It's also chrome tanned and the animals are tortured in the process. I've never had to sacrifice quality while attempting to choose more ethical products, in fact quite the opposite.

    It comes down to sourcing for the most part. A lot of the brands here are local or smaller scale so they tend to source from the same where there can be more attention to quality. Take alpaca and sheep's wool for example. Mass produced wool products are usually sourced from unethical farms where sheers are used and animals are injured. The smaller scale farms use electric clippers and because it's a smaller farm they have more control.


    Fur is for the most part farmed, if it can be called that. The animals are kept alone in wire cages. I think most of North American fur is imported from China. Many times the fur is labeled as another animal when it's really cat or dog (because they are cheaper). Mink and fox fur is mostly from European countries. Then there's Canada's production of baby seal fur. Method of killing is bludgeoning (clubbing) for them.

    This video shows the most common practices. It's graphic, but it quickly summarizes the killing methods for anyone interested in learning. At least they are completely expired in this video, compared to others where they are still conscious and moving after already being skinned.

    [VIDEO][/VIDEO]
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  17. GoldenTribe

    GoldenTribe Senior member

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    Does anyone know how to identify nutria fur?

    I've got three pieces of outerwear by Marc Jacobs (who I am pretty sure announced he used nutria in his collections) that involve fur: one is sheep, one is beaver, and I have no idea about the third, which is vaguely comparable to my rabbit fur hoodies in length & feel & colour but nevertheless seems somehow distinct.

    I tried searching the fabric code and style code but they don't provide a single result from Google. (So what's the point of having the darn codes?)
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  18. Nosu3

    Nosu3 Senior member

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    Not sure, but I'd imagine the nutria would be very similar to the beaver fur because they are closely related.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  19. 1234

    1234 Senior member

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    Who gives a shit.
     
  20. Nosu3

    Nosu3 Senior member

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    People with an active right temporo-parietal junction in the brain.
     
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