UK department store chain Selfridges announced that it will ban the sales of exotic animal skin such as python, lizard, alligator, and crocodile by 2020.
According to WWD, Selfridges is planning on phasing out exotic animal skin products in its stores by February 2020 except for leather from agricultural livestock, despite the known cruelty behind the leather industry.
“We are dedicated to being at the very forefront of future-thinking retail,” said Sebastian Manes, buying director of Selfridges.
“For us, that’s a future where luxury is defined by craftsmanship and material innovation.”
In 2005, Selfridges banned animal fur to promote conscious consumption.
As part of its Buying Better, Inspiring Change initiative, the retailer is working on ensuring that half of its products are environmentally friendly by 2022 and that “ethical and environmental considerations are made visible and accessible towards customers.”
Selfridges’ Bright New Things campaign also highlights designers who are working sustainably while its Project Ocean campaign is focused on the issue of plastic waste, which resulted in the removal of single-use plastic bottles and carbonated beverage bottles from its stores.
“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,” said Selfridges director of sustainability Daniella Vega.
More and more retailers and fashion brands are banning the sales and production of exotic animal skins.
Recently, Victoria Beckham announced that she will ban exotic animal skins from her collections starting this fall as an answer to vegan appeals and to “reflect the wishes” of her customers.
She also clarified that her brand never used animal fur and will never use them for her collections.
Late last year, Chanel also announced that it will ban fur and exotic animal skins from its future collections after years of being called out by vegan activists and groups.
The animal-friendly move to ban the sales of exotic animal skin has been commended by Humane Society International (HSI).
“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,” Claire Bass, HSI executive director, told WWD.