Animals Used for Fashion

Animals suffer immensely for fashion. They are bred in atrocious conditions or stolen from their natural habitats before their skin, fur, and feathers are ripped violently from their bodies. Animal cruelty is never in style. 


Sheep naturally produce a thick coat of wool to insulate their bodies. Many people believe they require human intervention to remove excess wool; however, this is only the case for genetically modified sheep the wool industry has created to produce much more wool, not for the wild sheep from which the domestic breeds evolved from. Sheep are violently shorn of their wool with sharp blades, and little attention is paid to their wellbeing. They are often roughly handled and suffer from deep cuts and injuries. 


Shearling is the tanned skin that has been callously cut from a young lamb’s body with the fleece still attached. The suffering lamb is sent to slaughter shortly after their skin is removed. 

Exotic Skins

Snakes, crocodiles, alligators, and other reptiles and amphibians are killed for their skins by violent methods to make belts, wallets, shoes, handbags, and more. These animals are farmed in wretched conditions until they reach a specific size. Investigations have shown that their skins may be cut from their bodies while fully conscious. 


Meat and foie gras producers profit twice off of ducks and geese; once for selling their bodies and again for their feathers. The soft feathers closest to the birds’ skin is known as “down.” Due to its insulating properties, down is often used to make comforters, pillows, and jackets. Some birds have their feathers removed during slaughter, while other terrified, fully conscious birds are manhandled and undergo “live plucking.” Birds who are subjected to live plucking are restrained while handfuls of feathers are ripped from their bodies which leaves behind bloody wounds. Other birds, such as ostriches and peacocks, are farmed to steal their feathers to produce clothing and accessories.


Leather is collectively known as the skins and hides of animals that have been treated with chemicals and preservatives. While leather is produced from many animals, such as bison, zebras, deer, seals, walrus, sharks, and more, a large percentage of leather comes from cows who have been slaughtered for meat. The gruesome and agonizing process of cutting the skins from terrified cows’ bodies may even occur while the animal is still alive. Leather is often labeled as “Genuine Leather,” with no indication of the animals who died for it. Investigations have shown that imported leather has been made from dogs and cats. 


Animal victims of the fur trade, such as mink, foxes, rabbits, chinchillas, raccoons, raccoon dogs, sable, beavers, seals, and even dogs and cats, are brutally killed for their fur. They are held in cramped, filthy cages on fur farms and deprived of everything wild animals need to thrive. Due to intense boredom and stress, these animals suffer from self-mutilation, infected wounds, missing limbs, and cannibalism. They are bludgeoned to death, internally electrocuted, or gassed before their fur is torn from their backs (sometimes while still conscious). 

Fur-bearing animals are also trapped in the wild, where they suffer from severe wounds and injuries for prolonged periods before trappers return to kill them. Before being made into fur trim, coats, and accessories, animal fur is treated with toxic chemicals that pollute the environment, harm native wildlife, and pose potential health risks to humans.

Consumer demand for compassionately-made apparel is at an all-time high. Major designers and retailers around the globe have enacted fur-free policies to denounce the abject cruelty of the fur trade. Many countries have legally banned fur farming, such as Austria, Bosnia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Herzegovina, Luxembourg, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia, and the UK. Israel became the first country in the world to ban the sale of fur in 2021. Click here for the most up-to-date list of fur ban legislation.