exotic leather

Exotic skin, photo courtesy

In its continued efforts toward sustainability, British retail behemoth Selfridges plans to completely abolish the sale of exotic skins — in particular python, alligator, crocodile and lizard — by February 2020.

A leader in ethical and sustainable practices, Selfridges was one of the first department stores to ban the sale of fur in 2005. As part of the ongoing Project Ocean campaign, the company stopped selling all single-use plastic water bottles in 2015 and carbonated drinks bottles in 2018. Since 2017, Selfridges’ signature Pantone 109 yellow paper bags have been made using recycled coffee cups from Selfridges’ stores; and, beginning this year, all garment bags are now constructed with recycled plastic bottles.

This commitment is also reflected in the company’s creative campaigns such as Bright New Things (2016) and Material World (2017), which highlighted and celebrated innovations in sustainable fashion. “Bright New Things is now a permanent fashion category, representing exemplary labels selected for their ethical stand-point.”

Selfridges Sustainability Campaign

Selfridges Material World campaign, photo courtesy

Buying Better, Inspiring Change underpins our business and our culture. As a leading global retailer, Selfridges seeks to use its influence to encourage partners and people to buy responsibly, respect the planet and protect our future.” says Selfridges’ Director of Sustainability, Daniella Vega.

Introduced in 2016, the retailer’s Buying Better, Inspiring Change approach is the core component of the company’s business model. As part of its strategy, Selfridges is “committed to ensuring that 50 percent of all products are better for people and planet by 2022, guaranteeing that ethical and environmental considerations are made visible and accessible to customers.”

“When Selfridges went fur-free more than a decade ago, it positioned itself as a retailer at the forefront of compassionate fashion. Banning exotic skins in recognition of the serious animal welfare issues that exist in this industry is a natural next step for a responsible retailer.” says Claire Bass, Executive Director of Humane Society International.

Selfridges joins other luxury brands such as Victoria Beckham and Chanel that have also discontinued the sale of exotic skins, as well as several brands, including Jimmy Choo, Diane von Furstenberg and Burberry, that have agreed to stop selling fur.

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