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Posted: 2018-12-06 16:42:00

No more crocodile skin handbags. Chanel is going cruelty-free in all future collections.

Chanel is the latest high-end fashion label to go cruelty-free. The luxury brand announced this week that it will ban furs and animal skins, including crocodile, lizard, snake, and stingray, from its collections. A spokeswoman for Chanel told CNN that it was impossible for the company to source animal products ethically:

"At Chanel, we are continually reviewing our supply chains to ensure they meet our expectations of integrity and traceability. In this context, it is our experience that it is becoming increasingly difficult to source exotic skins which match our ethical standards."

Karl Lagerfield, who has been creative director since 1983 when he took over from founder Coco Chanel, said that change is in the air, but that it was not "imposed" on the company: "It's a free choice." But no doubt the company has been influenced by a societal shift in people's attitudes toward furs and leathers. Chanel joins Gucci, Versace, Armani, Calvin Klein, Burberry, Michael Kors, Vivienne Westwood and others in choosing to phase out animal materials.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is celebrating the announcement. It said in a statement,

"The champagne corks are popping at PETA, thanks to Chanel's announcement that it's kicking fur and exotic skins – including crocodile, lizard, and snake skin – to the curb. For decades, PETA has called on the brand to opt for luxury, cruelty-free fashion that no animal had to suffer and die for, and now it's time for other companies, like Louis Vuitton, to follow the lead of the iconic double C's and do the same."

Chanel's path forward is not yet clear. The Independent reports that "it will work on developing new sustainable materials that have a low environmental impact, though Chanel has yet to clarify exactly what this will entail." Synthetic alternatives to fur and leather have come a long way in recent years to a point where "advancements

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