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Poaching And The Fashion Industry

Guțu Eva, XI A

Poaching, the act referring to illegal hunting, killing and/or capturing of wild animals, typically for commercial gain or personal use, is a serious problem in many parts of the world, and it threatens the survival of many species of animals. It involves illegally killing animals, usually for their valuable body parts, such as ivory tusks, horns, and fur. In some cases, poaching is done for food or for traditional medicine, however the fashion industry has had its moments of controversy on this specific topic.

Poaching has been a major concern for the fashion industry as it has caused significant damage to many endangered species. Animal skins and furs are still used in the production of luxury garments, but the fashion industry is now taking steps to reduce the impact of poaching. Many fashion brands are now taking part in conservation initiatives to help protect wildlife populations. They are also using alternative materials such as faux fur and leather to reduce their impact on the environment.

Some of us might have already seen or heard about the Schiaparelli controversial show that featured some severed animal heads clothing. Although having specified the unharming of the animal species in question, hence using foam, resin, wool, silk and other such materials in order to illustrate and replicate the characteristics of the animals, comments both positive and negative followed shortly after. The house’s intention of reproducing “Dante’s Inferno” through their eyes, did not seem to convince the audience enough to let this slide by. Each post on their social media platforms received around 20.000 comments, most of which criticised the denoted message. Certain comments acclaim the artistry and manufacturing of the pieces, however, the vast majority chastise Schiaparelli for glorifying the poaching of animals. Therefore, one can acquiesce that even something fake can denote disturbing messages and have a very real influence. Fashion is instigating and pushing boundaries, however, these particular pieces triggered a backlash in society to a certain extent.

All in all, this was clearly not the first, and probably not the last time we see analogous fashion shows from a fashion brand. But taking into consideration all aspects mentioned above, we have to agree that poaching has devastating consequences for animal populations, as it reduces their numbers and disrupts the delicate balance of wildlife ecosystems. It is important to remember that all wildlife deserves to live in its natural habitat, free from human interference. We must do our part in protecting animals from poachers by supporting conservation efforts, educating people about the importance of preserving wildlife and cease the glorification of poaching regardless of industry.

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