Feathers in fashion: what are the ethical and animal cruelty implications?

But even a little topping still has an impact on animals, animal welfare organizations say. PETA’s director of corporate projects, Yvonne Taylor, told GLAMOR that their investigations “show that whenever birds are exploited in the fashion industry, abuse is guaranteed. Marabou feathers n ‘belong not to models but to turkeys or chickens’, and claimed they had endured a life of misery on cramped and filthy factory farms before being transported to the slaughterhouse. She added that “PETA entities have filmed geese and ducks plucked alive for their feathers, despite assurances and ‘responsible’ labels. In 2022, there is no excuse for continuing to use body parts. of a sentient being.

Along with the obvious feather embellishments on your clothes and accessories, as we head into winter, don’t forget that your cozy down jacket can also be filled with down. If the absence of feathers is important to you, check the components of the padding.

Down feathers are super soft – they are the tiny feathers that grow close to the birds skin as an insulating layer. Unlike wing feathers, down does not have sharp, stiff quills, so it is particularly light and warm (and the ideal filling for a down jacket). The alternative to stuffing of animal origin – synthetic stuffing – is often made from polyester and a derivative of highly polluting plastic. and limited oil resources. Which choice.

But there is a less impactful alternative… Pangaia leads the way in stylish durability with its scientific developments created specifically for fashion. They developed FLWRDWN™ – a biodegradable material made from wildflowers, biopolymer and infused with airgel. It could be an awesome alternative to feather-filled coats (and a lot less punchy than synthetic options, too.)

But when it comes to feathers, it seems many buyers still want the real deal. Arket has been using recycled feathers, salvaged from discarded sleeping bags and bedding products, since 2018 and Karen Millen and Coast have seen searches for feathers increase by 282% year over year. However, those looking for the drama of a feather-trimmed garment might find that just as faux fur, faux leather, and faux croc are now viable options, faux feather is also becoming more accessible. ASOS currently has 99 ‘faux feather’ items on its site, including clutches, skirts, dresses, blouses and pajama sets. An ASOS spokesperson shares his opinion: “We are committed to working with industry experts to support the ongoing research, development and implementation of animal welfare standards – it is not not acceptable for animals to suffer in the name of fashion. We’ve seen a strong appetite for our faux feather pieces in apparel and accessories, with particular success in our ASOS LUXE collections. We are able to offer synthetic alternatives to feathers for looks that offer both style and impact.

“Whenever I talk to people about Creatives4Change, I talk about knowledge,” says Lubomirski. “We all know where these things come from. We can’t pretend anymore, we can’t pretend ignorance anymore. , I never really knew where the feathers came from. Or, ‘I thought they had just been picked up off the floor.’ We know that’s not true, so when you have that knowledge, you’re bound to make a decision, so what will your decision be?

Read more about Glamor UK Fashion Director at large Alex Fullerton here or follow her on Instagram @alexandrafullerton

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