For most people into fashion and expressing personal style through clothes and accessories – it is not a WARdrobe unless there’s causalities. John Bartlett continues to be a outspoken voice of reason among his CFDA peers and his colleagues in the design world. He is a personal friend, an award-winning designer, and I’ve decided to reprint a compelling entry from his blog yesterday:
2010 was an incredibly interesting year and one that I will always remember as the year I woke up from a dream, of sorts. You see, earlier this year i decided to move towards a plant based diet and to move away from using leather in my main collection, John Bartlett. My boyfriend John Esty and I decided to stop wearing leather, even our shoes and belts, and have begun encouraging our friends to seek out alternatives to leather and other animal derived materials.
This journey was prompted, ironically, by all of the animal fur that has returned to the forefront of fashion this past year. The fall collections were dripping with fur from almost two-thirds of the designers showing in New York. I have learned that many of the younger designers are given free “fabric”(i.e. fur), funding for their shows and other swag like trips to visit the fur farms abroad. Designers who have never worked in fur are now using it with abandon. I asked one colleague, a fellow member of the C.F.D.A., why he used fur and he replied that he “could take it or leave it” but that he wasn’t bothered about using fur because the animals are “humanely gassed”. Does that sound strange to you? Am I the only one who thinks the fashion industry is light years behind other industries that have realized the unnecessary cruelty of using animals for selfish, outmoded ends.
When I realized how much work there is to be done in this fur-free arena, I met up with the Humane Society to see what i could do to help get the word out that the pitiless fur industry mistreats and kills more than 50 million animals a year. I joined the groovy team from the fur-free department at the Humane Society and spoke in front of a group of Parsons students about my feelings about fur. There is so much information to share about the dark side of the fur industry and any opportunity to get in front of students before they are brainwashed by the fur pushers is an opportunity to save lives.
If you are unclear as to what the fur industry looks like from behind the scenes please watch this video and visit the Humane Society’s site: