With rising environmental consciousness, a change is emerging slowly but surely. It is evident from the many homegrown brands selling vegan accessories that have hit the market in recent years.
SHUBHANGHI SHAH: Leather has long been a symbol of style and luxury on the global fashion scene. From high-end leather bags and trendy boots to evergreen biker jackets, this versatile and durable material has remained a constant in the world of fashion. But the vogue comes at an immense cost.
“In India, animals used for leather are crowded onto vehicles in such high numbers that their bones break and they die en route, including from suffocation,” says Monica Chopra, manager of fashion, media and celebrity projects, PETA India. “Animals who survive this ordeal are then unloaded at slaughterhouses, where they are cut open with dirty, dull knives in full view of other animals on floors covered with faeces, blood, guts and urine. Many are skinned and dismembered while they are still conscious,” she elucidates. The ordeal brought about by the leather industry does not end here. “Indian tannery workers often suffer from fever, eye inflammation, skin diseases and cancer due to the toxic chemicals and workplace hazards they are made to endure,” Chopra adds. It also contributes immensely to global warming.
India, too, is a major contributor as it handles 13% of the world’s leather production. However, with rising environmental consciousness, a change is emerging slowly but surely. It is evident from the many homegrown brands selling vegan accessories that have hit the market in recent years.
“When we started, we saw a video of how animal-based leather is made. It was horrific. So, we decided to not put our names to it. That inspired us to launch vegan and cruelty-free lifestyle products,” says Disha Singh, founder and CEO of Zouk, a PETA-approved vegan brand. The journey has not been a smooth one. When we started, vegan products were a foreign concept. In one of our early Instagram posts, when we said vegan bags, I remember someone joking about it. We did a lot to educate them to make more responsible choices. Today, many of our customers happily share that their Zouk products are cruelty-free, which makes us happy,” the founder shares. SOURCE…