Monday, 01 Oct, 2007 Environment

Python Skin - Fashion Trend for the Price of Terrible Tortures


Python skin bags and shoes are at the hight of fashion, being sported in the collections of Calvin Klein, Roberto Cavalli, Jimmy Choo, and Prada. The latest fashion trend has sparked furious protests of animal rights campaigners.

Kylie Minogue photographed with a python Zagliani bag at a Prince concert last week has involuntarily made the demand for the bags rise even higher. Now the prices for the fashionable items range from 500 Euro for a small clutch to 5,000 Euro for a tote bag.

The trend for python skin accessories is much condemned by campaigners who describe the terrible process of skinning a python: first, a hose is shoved down a python's throat, blown up with water,and then the snake is skinned alive. The python is thrown onto a pile and left for days, until it dies.

The trade leads to the extinction of many species and we will find the endangered species of tomorrow among the luxury items of today. As for the designers, they claim to use 'farmed' pythons' skins. Still, experts point at a thriving illegal trade, especially concerning India and Indonesia.

The European Union represents the biggest importer of reptile skins in the world. In the period of 2000-2005, there were brought in skins of 2.9 million crocodiles, 3.4 million lizards, and 3.4 million snakes.

According to Zagliani designer Mauro Orietti-Carella, the brand was founded 70 years ago, having specialized in exotic skins bags. Producing bags from python skin implies not just following a fashion trend. The brand is not producing as many bags as demanded by the market, working in an ethical and environmentally responsible way.

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