Selfridges to stop selling exotic skins

Selfridges has announced it is to stop selling exotic skins such as python, alligator, crocodile and lizard.

The department store said it will phase out the skins and from February 2020 will only sell leather from agricultural livestock including cow or calf, sheep, pig, goat, water buffalo and lamb.

The retailer, which banned the sale of fur in 2005, said it prided itself on being a “responsible retailer and a trusted curator of brands”.

It follows its Buying Better, Inspiring Change strategy introduced in 2016, which included a commitment to ensuring that 50% of products it sells are “better for people and planet by 2022”, and has involved the removal of single-use plastic water bottles from sale in 2015 and making its signature yellow paper bags from upcycled coffee cups.

Selfridges’ buying director Sebastian Manes said: “I am proud to confirm that exotic skins will no longer be available to purchase at Selfridges as of February 2020.

“We will continue in our ambition to inspire our brands and customers through thoughtful, ethical and transparent buying strategies.”

Humane Society International executive director Claire Bass said: “It is wonderful to see Selfridges end the sale of exotic skins, a move that will save countless crocodiles and snakes from losing their lives.

“When Selfridges went fur-free more than a decade ago, it positioned itself as a retailer at the forefront of compassionate fashion. 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.”

In December Chanel became the first luxury fashion house in the world to stop using exotic animal skins.

The company’s head of fashion, Bruno Pavlovksy, said it had become harder to source such pelts ethically.