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The online luxury retailer Moda Operandi confirmed it will ban fur and exotic skins from its trading. Founded in 2010 by Lauren Santo Domingo and Aslaug Magnusdottir, this company, with headquarters in New York, has now joined Calvin Klein, Chanel, Diane von Furstenberg, HUGO BOSS, Jil Sander, Karl Lagerfeld, Tommy Hilfiger, and other retailers that have banned both fur and exotic skins.

In the exotic skins’ industry, before being turned into belts and purses, alligators are kept in fetid water inside dark sheds. Their necks are hacked open and metal rods are shoved into their heads in an attempt to scramble their brains, often while they’re still conscious. Snakes are beaten with hammers, cut open from one end to the other with razor blades, and skinned alive. And animals exploited by the fur industry on fur farms, such as minks and foxes, often spend their entire lives confined to cramped cages, in which they frantically pace back and forth, gnaw on the bars, and mutilate themselves. Others are caught in the wild by steel traps. Many are electrocuted, poisoned, gassed, and even skinned alive.

The animal rights organisation PETA, which has released several exposés of the exotic-skins industry, has been lobbying this and other companies for this change. They are now turning their attention to Hermès and LVMH (the owner of Louis Vuitton), which are still supporting these horrific industries. Last year, the top fashion luxury brand Altuzarra, also launched in New York, also banned the use of skins from exotic animals — such as crocodiles, snakes or ostriches — in their future collections. More and more brands are turning their backs to fur and exotic skins, but they should also stop using leather from domestic animals such as cows and goats, as well as fur from sheep and rabbits (known as wool), who also suffers from the animal agriculture industry.