The idea of wearing an animal's fur has always made me feel sick. You only have to see the videos of skinned animals lying in a heap, still breathing and lifting their heads, to understand that stealing an animal's skin for the sake of vanity is wrong.
I remember when Peta released its first iconic I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Furcampaign in the early nineties - back when few people had ever seen a video or even a photograph of how horribly animals die for fur. The impact of that campaign was huge. Almost overnight wearing fur became unfashionable and designers couldn't wait to shout about how they were fur-free and fabulous. Top, trendy retailers like Selfridges and Liberty brought in strict no-fur policies.
An increasing volume of fur is now being imported from China, where cat and dog fur is often mislabelled as fur from another species or labelled as fake fur to meet the growing demand for fashion that doesn't hurt animals. Shoppers can never be 100% confident that they know whose fur they are really wearing. About two million cats and hundreds of thousands of dogs are killed in China for their fur every year. My advice is that if there's any doubt about whether a fur is really faux, it's best just to avoid it altogether.
The idea that fur is springing into fashion again is absurd, even though that's the line the fur trade has tried to sell to reporters for more than a decade. You may see more fur on the catwalk, but that's because fur is so cheap that furriers have resorted to paying designers to use it. Its presence on the catwalk does not reflect what people are wearing on the high street.
My daughter is at a time in her life when she's making choices about the kind of person she wants to be, and I want to show her that it's cool to be kind and that making compassionate choices shows character.
Mahiki is one of the coolest spots in London, so it was my first choice for promoting compassion in fashion. There are so many great designers working with cruelty-free fabrics, and that's what we should be celebrating during fashion season. What better way than to throw a party in honour of all the fur-free and fabulous people out there?!
We had a great turnout this week for the celebration of Mahiki's new fur-free policy, and we hope that other clubs follow Mahiki's positive example by going fur-free as well.