Shoes, watches, wallets and bags — anything made from exotic reptile skins — were plucked from the shelves in Selfridges, a high-end department store in the U.K., in February 2019. The move, according to the company, was motivated by a desire to “improve supply chain transparency and implement high standards of animal welfare” at a time when customers were demanding humane alternatives to animal skin products. Now, in place of reptile leather, the store sells boots made from apple leather, and has launched a line of products using vegan wildflower down, grape leather and eucalyptus and seaweed fiber. In 2005, Selfridges also banned products made from fur. “The challenge of achieving transparency, particularly in python supply chains, presents a significant risk of inhumane practices in both the keeping and culling of animals,” Daniella Vega, Selfridge’s director of sustainability, tells Mongabay in an emailed statement. “Inhumane animal husbandry practices contravene Selfridges’ Ethical Trade Requirements.” Selfridges isn’t the only store to make big changes like this. In September 2020, luxury department store chain Nordstrom announced that it would phase out exotic skins by the end 2021. Fashion giants such as Chanel, Mulberry, Victoria Beckham, and Tommy Hilifiger, have also given reptile skins the boot. While reptile skin bans are being hailed a positive move for wildlife by some conservationists and animal welfare advocates, including renowned primatologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall, others say that stripping exotic skins away from the fashion industry is actually doing more harm than good. In this counterargument, proponents…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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