FUR FLIES: In its ongoing effort to get fashion brands to stop using exotic fur and skins, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is turning to the International Olympic Committee for support ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics.
In a letter to IOC President Thomas Bach on Monday, the animal rights group’s vice-chair for the UK, Europe and Australia, Mimi Bekhechi, urged the committee to “n’t accept sponsorship from LVMH or any other fashion company unless he agrees to stop selling fur”. and exotic skins,” citing these materials as sources of risk for future pandemics.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games were postponed to July 2021 due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics were held behind closed doors, with few or no spectators.
Although LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton supported Paris’ bid in 2016 to host the next Summer Olympics, no sponsorship agreement has been announced between the committee in charge of organizing the Games in Paris and the group. luxury. Confirmed sponsors of the 2024 Olympics include state-owned bank BPCE, retailer Carrefour and telecommunications company Orange.
Bekhechi said the COVID-19 virus had “spread like wildfire” on fur farms, where cramped conditions “had accelerated the spread [of the virus] to humans and wild animals,” including “a dangerous mutation that threatened vaccine efficacy.”
She further alleged that the French luxury conglomerate is “well aware” that the animals “endure conditions comparable to those of the wet markets in Wuhan, where the COVID-19 pandemic is believed to have originated”, and refers to earlier claims. about how workers at the LVMH supply chain killed pythons, according to an investigation by PETA Asia.
Citing fashion houses like Chanel, which said in 2018 they were ending the use of exotic skins, Bekhechi said LVMH “has so far not acted responsibly and continues to endanger public health with its mink coats and python bags”.
“It would be inadmissible for the next Olympics to be sponsored by a company that supports these dangerous industries,” she continued, calling the proposed requirement “a matter of global social responsibility.”
The International Olympic Committee and the Paris 2024 organizing committee did not respond to requests for comment on Monday.
In February, Louis Vuitton reinforced its commitment to using exotic skins in its handbags, with the official inauguration of its last two leather goods workshops in Loir-et-Cher, in central France.