As more and more consumers are made aware of the treatment of animals in the fur, leather, down, exotic-skins, and wool industries, pressure is mounting on the fashion industry to deliver modern collections that reject cruelty to animals. From major international luxury brands to independent designers, companies are taking huge steps to move away from animal-derived materials and focus instead on innovative vegan fabrics.
Compassion and sustainability continue to shape today’s fashion industry, and the PETA Fashion Awards celebrate the year’s greatest animal-friendly achievements and recognise the most compassionate brands and designers.
Stella McCartney: Designer of the Year
Stella McCartney’s lifetime commitment to animal-friendly and sustainable luxury fashion was emblazoned across her Winter 2016 #StellaCares Campaign with the slogan No leathers, feathers or fur. The British designer continues to use her prominent position to speak out against cruelty to animals – notably, declaring this year that fur is “not sustainable, and it’s not modern”.
Armani Group Drops Fur: Biggest Luxury Fashion Moment
In March, the esteemed Italian design house declared it’s going fur-free, saying, Technological progress made over the years allows us to have valid alternatives at our disposition that render the use of cruel practices unnecessary. The move supports the growing recognition that innovation with compassion represents the future of fashion.
Major British Brands Ban Down: Biggest Fashion Moment
Following PETA’s exposé of the cruel down industry – in which birds are live-plucked for their feathers – Topshop, Hobbs, Warehouse, Primark, and Oasis are amongst the brands that committed to banning all down feathers in their collections in 2017.
Rombaut: Best Newcomer
Mats Rombaut’s progressive unisex footwear line won the support of influential editors and stockists from its first season. Creating new material innovations out of stone, tree bark, coconuts, and other natural fibres, the vegan brand is committed to sustainability, along with cutting-edge design.
Amélie Pichard x Pamela Anderson: Best Collaboration
French fashion designer Amélie Pichard joined forces with icon Pamela Anderson to create a 100 per cent vegan shoe collection. Featuring patchwork denim, Malibu lucite heels, and metallic vegan leathers, the collection flaunts Pamela’s signature style and a joint mantra that sustainable fashion is sexy. Speaking of the collection, Pamela said, “If you’re not vegan, you’re old-fashioned”.
Flocus: Innovation Award
Using kapok, a 100 per cent natural seed fibre, Flocus has developed an innovative and effective material which is insulating, lightweight, and water-repellent. This superior alternative to down is set to make headway this year, as more brands continue to ban cruelly obtained feathers from their collections.
Liberty: Most Progressive Luxury Retailer
The iconic London department store has built on its legacy of integrity, quality, and beautifully designed products by adding a policy of not selling exotic skins to its firm no-fur stance. With this commitment, Liberty is leading the way for luxury retailers to implement their own compassionate guidelines, in line with consumers’ growing demand for luxurious animal-friendly shopping
Melie Bianco: Best Animal-Friendly Accessories
Melie Bianco’s vegan leather handbags are crafted from animal- and eco-friendly natural materials. The brand’s impeccable commitment to quality continues to demonstrate that animal leather is archaic and unnecessary.
Harvey Nichols: Biggest Fashion Blunder
Harvey Nichols has failed again this year to reinstate its popular fur-free policy. The shop, which markets itself as being “cutting-edge”, is falling woefully behind most other British rivals, including Selfridges and Liberty, which proudly refuse to sell fur.
Ruby + Ed: Best Faux-Fur Brand
Luxury faux-fur brand Ruby + Ed was a favourite of editors Alexandra Shulman and Lorraine Candy during London Fashion Week SS17 with its customised Team Elle and Team Vogue bombers – making the company this year’s faux-fur leader with its creative and proudly compassionate designs.
Bourgeois Boheme: Best Cruelty-Free Shoes
Taking a stand against cruelty to animals, Bourgeois Boheme’s British-inspired collections are all artisan-made in Portugal from the finest eco-friendly Italian vegan leathers.
Vaute: Best Wool-Free Brand
With innovative, high-tech, sustainable textiles, cut and sewn in New York’s garment district, Vaute’s Aran Sweater sold out quickly last winter. Its recycled cotton, made in a waste-free process, replaces the traditional cruelly obtained wool.
Denise Roobol: Best Vegan Exotic-Skin Collection
Featuring vegan microfibre leather in embossed faux-crocodile and faux-ostrich skins which pay tribute to the beauty of these animals without killing them, Denise Roobol’s minimalist and seemingly effortless aesthetic has made her one of the most exciting young names in sustainable fashion.