Models are wearing gas masks at LFW for one important reason

Feb 19, 2016 at 9:45 a.m. ET
Image: PETA

We can always rely on Fashion Week for some weird and wonderful trends but as LFW kicked off in the capital today one accessory was strictly off the catwalk.


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Models were hired by PETA to wear gas masks at the Brewer Street Car Park this morning as part of the animal rights campaigners' protest against wearing fur.

PETA models at London Fashion Week
Image: PETA

According to PETA, fur "can be bad for your health, because of the potentially carcinogenic chemicals often used to prevent it from rotting like the dead body part that it is."

The group's blog refers to a recent study carried out in Germany, which "documented unsafe levels of toxic chemicals in fur-trimmed children's clothing sold by several brands, including Canada Goose, Nickelson, Airforce and Woolrich."

"Tests on the raccoon-dog and coyote fur used in these jackets revealed that they contain large quantities of toxic substances, particularly formaldehyde — which can cause allergic reactions and is considered a carcinogen — and ethoxylates, which are known to be disruptive to hormone production and reproductive organs," said PETA.

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Of course another reason not to wear fur is from an animal cruelty perspective. Animals who live in fur farms (where 85 percent of the fur industry's animal skins come from) suffer in cramped, inhumane conditions before being killed by gruesome methods, such as neck-breaking, electrocution and poisoning.

One company being targeted by PETA during London Fashion Week for selling fur is high-end French fashion brand The Kooples. The group is urging animal lovers to phone The Kooples' London, Leeds and Manchester stores on Feb. 19 to urge them to stop selling angora.

According to one Facebook user, The Kooples' London store told her over the phone that they would be "implementing a full ban" but an official statement has still to be made.

What do you think of PETA's gas mask protest? Let us know your thoughts below.

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