Friday, 28 October 2011

Nipples to Fashion: Is There Such a Thing As Ethical Leather?

It's been on my mind a while now: why - when there's such consumer demand for organic and freerange meat and dairy products - is there not pressure for ethical leather? So I wrote an article on the subject for SIX Magazine.

While writing it I looked into designer Rachel Freire's use of yaks' nipples in her collection. Here's a titillating (sorry) image from her SS12 collection, Nippleocalypse.

Controversial maybe, but she realised the nipples were a waste-product of the leather industry and sought a way to make use of them.

Personally I choose not to wear leather at all. Some vegetarians wear leather because it is largely accepted to be a waste product of the meat industry. I suppose this might explain the discrepancy between people's avoidance of food which involves cruel farming systems and their acceptance of material which would otherwise be a waste-product of such systems. I can't help thinking that if we made a stand for ethical leather, though, this would help put an end to cruel farming systems.

Anyway, here's the feature:

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