‘Cowspiracy’ filmmaker backs new film on the 2.5 billion animals used for fashion

‘SLAY’, directed by Rebecca Cappelli and co-produced by ‘Cowspiracy’ co-director Keegan Kuhn, intends to shed awareness on the brutal animal practices of the fashion industry.

A new feature-length documentary attempts to raise awareness about the brutal practices of the global fashion business, which is responsible for the deaths of nearly 2.5 billion animals annually. The documentary SLAY, directed by Rebecca Cappelli, chronicles the filmmaker’s three-year investigation into the use and production of animal skins in the fashion business, focusing on fur, leather, and wool.

While mainstream criticism of the fashion business typically focuses on the industry’s destructive environmental impact and unfair treatment of vulnerable people, animals are frequently disregarded. SLAY focuses on the condition of animals, and through its investigation of fashion’s harsh animal methods, the documentary illuminates how the global fashion business is causing immense damage to the environment and humanity. SLAY, filmed on five continents in India, Italy, Brazil, China, France, Australia, and the United States, depicts the story of animal brutality, greenwashing, mislabeling, and cover-ups “without ignoring the people who labor and live at the mercy of the industry.” The documentary covers experts in sustainable design and the animal-rights movement and takes viewers on a global tour of fur farms, tanneries, and wool farms.

Cappelli joins forces with co-producer Keegan Kuhn, co-director of the vegan documentaries Cowspiracy, What the Health, and They’re Trying to Kill Us, to deliver SLAY to audiences across the world.

“My hope is that audiences who see SLAY will recognize the true impact of their purchase decisions on animals, the environment, and their fellow humans, as well as the marketing lies they’ve been fed and the dark secrets of the fashion industry,” Kuhn told VegNews.

Due to the nature of the film and the global fashion industry’s influence, Cappelli and Kuhn have worked relentlessly to conceal the documentary’s conclusions before its release.

“The misery of animals in the fashion business is greenwashed into oblivion, while these skin industries ruin the environment and harm people,” Cappelli told VegNews. “SLAY challenges the assumption that animal skins constitute a fabric and that these so-called ‘fabrics’ are sustainable. I hope the film sheds light on the grim truths behind some of the most coveted skins in fashion.”

The producers utilized the crowdfunding website Indiegogo to generate funds for screenings and to assist their distribution and public relations plan. With more than 200 backers, the campaign raised approximately $88,300, surpassing its $60,000 goal, and officially ended in mid-June. The release date is not yet known. On the film’s website, interested viewers can register for updates.

Animal Cruelty In The Fashion Industry

In recent years, the fashion industry has gradually distanced itself from fur in response to customer feedback condemning the inhumane techniques involved in the production of the material. Within the past two years, major luxury retailers including Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Macy’s have banned the sale of fur, with Nordstrom adding exotic animal skins in its prohibition. Saint Laurent and Dolce & Gabbana have also prohibited the use of fur in their ensembles. And just a year ago, fashion firm Oscar de la Renta pledged to abandon fur forever, in large part due to pressure from vegan Grammy Award-winner Billie Eilish, who vowed to wear the designer to the Met Gala only if the designer agreed to abandon fur.

The leading fashion magazine ELLE has banned fur from its pages in all of its 45 global editions and 46 online, including those in China, the world’s largest fur producer. Kopenhagen Fur, the world’s oldest fur auction business, stated in November 2020 that it would close permanently within three years. Nearly a year later, the Italian Senate Budget Committee adopted an amendment that would close the remaining 10 mink fur farms.

During the commencement of the COVID-19 pandemic, several countries prohibited fur production to halt the disease’s spread. By July 2020, one million minks had been slaughtered in the Netherlands alone to prevent the spread of the virus. In September, Poland, the world’s third-largest fur producer, voted to outlaw fur farming, and France followed suit by outlawing mink fur farming. Several European nations followed suit, and in June 2021, Israel became the first nation in the world to prohibit the selling of fur.

The use of leather is harming the Amazon

When it comes to leather, prominent fashion retailers and companies are less likely to abandon the animal product than they are with fur. Legislative action is minimal as well. The manufacture of leather has been linked to the degradation of the Amazon rainforest despite the lack of response.

More than 100 fashion labels, including Zara, Adidas, Clarks, and Asics, were linked to deforestation in a report created by Slow Factory using data provided by the research group Stand.Earth. Several of the 100 mentioned companies were found to directly or indirectly source leather from JBS, the major cow producer in the region who has been repeatedly linked to unlawful deforestation, therefore contributing to deforestation themselves.

SLAY seeks to shine a light on such hidden links to help customers better comprehend the worldwide implications of their decisions. In the trailer for SLAY, it is stated that animals are transformed into fashion accessories in a disturbing and purposefully concealed manner. This industry does not want society to comprehend what it does.

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