IN PHOTOS: Designer Todd Oldham Leads PETA's Sustainable Vegan Fashion Panel at Parsons
Parsons School of Design has shed its longtime fur program in line with its focus on sustainability. Keeping with this commitment, the top design school hosted a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) panel with fashion designer Todd Oldham.
According to a press release from PETA, the panel discussion also included Parsons professor and Brave GentleMan designer Joshua Katcher and PETA Senior Vice President Dan Mathews.
Oldham also debuted an animal-free fashion video tutorial to the audience that consisted of a number of fashion influencers and design students. In the video, he shared his techniques of creating fashionable pieces without using animal-derived materials such as fur, leather and feathers, among others. It was recorded at the Rhode Island School of Design where a museum retrospective of Oldham's fashions was recently held.
"One thing that was always very dear to me was the need to protect animals as opposed to use them in fashion," Oldham said in the seven-minute video. "Animal fur is very beautiful -- and the most beautiful when left on the animal. You can celebrate animals. I mean, what's more beautiful than nature?"
While he's at the forefront of sustainable vegan fashion, Oldham is not alone. Designer Stella McCartney has been part of the shift towards animal-friendly practices with collections that are all free of fur and leather. Many high-fashion designers like Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Vivienne Westwood and Giorgio Armani have already agreed to go fur-free.
A collection of cruelty-free, vegan and sustainable menswear products were compiled in an article by Jim Dobson in Forbes last year, showing how far this movement has gone. The report also revealed that well-known retailers such as Topman, Burton, Nigel Hall Menswear, Dr. Martens, White Stuff and Primark have promised to ban feathers from all of their future collections.