New York—Exotic skins may be trending in leathergoods but don’t expect to find the real thing at Ann Taylor or Loft stores. That’s because the specialty store’s parent, Ann Inc. has banned the use of exotic animal skins in its product lines after meeting with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the non-profit animal rights organization.
Ann Inc. has revised its animal welfare policy to read: “Our private label brands do not use real animal fur and do not knowingly sell products with skins considered to be exotic, including but not limited to alligator, crocodile and ostrich.”
While PETA has famously campaigned for designers and retailers to reject using animal fur in their designs, the group also is on a campaign to raise awareness about the treatment of exotic animals as well. In Africa, Asia, and the United States, exotic animals—including snakes and lizards—are hunted or raised and killed specifically for their skins. Alligators and crocodiles are stabbed in the neck with a metal chisel or bludgeoned with metal bats. PETA Asia’s undercover investigations found live snakes nailed to trees by their heads before their skin was torn off their writhing bodies.
Other fashion companies have also adopted the ban on exotic animal skins including Mango, H&M, Victoria’s Secret and PUMA.