Chanel’s Recent Ban Is Not Just Black And White…

After Chanel’s bold ban on exotic skins from their collections – read about it here –  the move by the French fashion house has sparked a wave of controversy and opinion. Affecting not just handbags, the subject will certainly be a topic of discussion across clothes, watch and interior labels too. 

Speaking to BOF, Daniel Natusch, Rosie Cooney, Tomas Waller and Grahame Webb – all Chairs of conservation groups – argued quite convincingly that prohibiting use of exotics skins is dangerous for biodiversity, saying Chanel has taken a “well-intentioned but misdirected decision.”

Moreover, many of the local, indigenous peoples that rely on sustainable farming for their main income, will inevitably be severely affected by this – so where does the line get drawn? Is it possible for fashion to still use exotic skins to some degree? Certainly there are many cases for the sustainable farming of wild animals, as the Conservationists put to BOF “In Indonesia, 150,000 people benefit from harvest and trade in reticulated pythons, which the science confirms is sustainable.”

But how do you marry this with the image of Fashion Week, with the style set toting the latest ‘It’ bag crafted from the skin of an exotic animal. In terms of animal welfare and animals being heralded as accessories, there is surely room for improvement.

As 87% of adults now declare ethical purchases important to them, how do fashion houses mirror this demand while keeping ecological effects in tact?

If one thing is clear from the debate, it’s that no decision where animal welfare is concerned, is ever that simple.

We want to hear from you – tweet us, e-mail us at, DM us with your take on the topic. 

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