A new documentary, titled Slay, from Keegan Kuhn the producer of 2017’s What the Health and Cowspiracy, follows filmmaker Rebecca Cappelli as she travels and investigates the animal skin trade in several destinations around the world.
From being a huge global trade throughout the 20th century, the fur industry has taken a dramatic hit over the past 20 years with numerous fashion companies denouncing and banning fur from their resources.
Consumers and clientele of luxury brands have also statistically been avoiding products that outwardly market they’re made with real fur.
According to the documentary, over 2.5 billion animals are slaughtered every year for fashion. The leather industry accounts for just under 60% of this. Publicly there has sometimes been a misconception that this figure is predominantly made up of just cows. Kangaroos, alligators, snakes, pigs, and buffalo are all killed for their skin as well.
Cappelli says in the film’s trailer, “I have spent the last three years investigating animal skins in fashion,”
“They have a damaging impact on the planet, on people, and, of course, on the animals.”
“If someone would have told me even half of what I discovered doing this film, I wouldn’t have believed them.”
The film’s IndieGoGo page also reads: “Through our collective efforts, films like Cowspiracy and What the Health have had a huge global impact – and we can do this again.”
A push for change
Fashion has begun to innovate more with many outlets producing organic, vegan, and plant-based clothing as an alternative, which has been surging in popularity for years now.
The Vegan Fashion Show is one example that is challenging public consumption habits. The charitable and educational event takes place at The Great Hall in Toronto for its first year. Attendees can discover vegan fashion from various designers on the catwalk, a limited marketplace, photo-ops, musical guests, and a sustainable, vegan textile display. The textile display will feature leather alternatives, including lab-grown leather (which is real leather) and plant-based leather alternatives – including plastic-free and fully biodegradable options.
The show launches on October 2nd in Toronto and is sponsored by Umano, an organization that supports initiatives that foster holistic empathy for humans, animals, and the environment, and Lenola PR, a public relations agency representing models, influencers, and vegan brands. The vegan, cruelty-free, and mermaid-inspired cosmetics line, Emily Alexandra Cosmetics, is set to cover beauty needs at the show.
Vikki Lenola, the producer of The Vegan Fashion Show, said on the event: “We believe being kind to animals is part of the whole ethical fashion pie, if you will, along with considering people and the environment.” Lenola is also an assistant producer on the Slay film.
“We’re excited and privileged to share with the world why this is important – and on a fun and positive note, how it’s becoming easier to do every day! There’s an ever-growing list of alternatives to animal-derived ‘fashion’. Fair treatment of workers and sustainable design is also increasingly becoming top of mind.”
Educational films and fashion shows on trend
In line with the concept behind the film, the Future Innovations 2024 report by consumer trend forecaster – WGSN – identified 12 key areas of innovation. The Vegan Fashion Show has aimed to be prevalent in several, including: “Living With Intent: as people reorient their lives to focus on the areas and connections that count, they will seek more intentional products and experiences,” and “Multi-Species Thinking: a more-than-human design approach that considers the needs and rights of all of nature – including humans, animals and plants – will gain traction.”
Lenola concluded, “Many fashion brands are progressing from animal ‘materials’ to more ethical, sustainable, and innovative materials because there’s a growing consumer demand for it.”
She adds, “If films like Slay can draw attention to the gross mistreatments going on within the fashion world, it can only work as a positive so people can make informed and illuminated decisions on what they wear and invest their money into.”
The release date of the film has not yet been announced.