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Shelter Dogs Modeling Ralph Lauren: A Step Forward, but a Long Way to Go (VIDEO)

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Fashion giant Ralph Lauren has recently released its newest short film exhibiting its 2013 fall accessories collection. To fashionistas, this news is in itself exciting, but animal lovers can also rejoice as shelter dogs, including a bully breed, are featured in the video strutting their stuff with Ralph Lauren’s newest accessories.

Back in 2006, all the brands under the Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation title went fur-free to the great joy of many animal advocates.

“Fur has never been an integral part of our design strategy as we had only used it on a limited basis as an accent in some collections,” said a Polo Ralph Lauren spokesperson, “We are publicly announcing this decision because the use of fur has been under review internally and we feel that the time is right to take this action,” the company said in a statement.

In Ralph Lauren’s new film, the company worked in collaboration with the ASPCA to bring shelter dogs into the spotlight, and from Oct. 15 to Nov. 15, 10 percent of profits from collection purchases featured in the short film will be donated to the ASPCA.

The company’s efforts are certainly admirable and we applaud them at taking a stance on animal cruelty and their promotion of shelter animals, but their new collection still features other animal-based products like silk, suede, leather, and cashmere. None of these industries are cruelty-free and so Ralph Lauren’s video can be viewed as a bit hypocritical – championing animal welfare while still featuring exploited animals in their accessories and garments.

It’s disturbing too that some of the seemingly dog-friendly products aren’t actually animal-friendly at all – like the 100 percent cashmere dog sweater or the 100 percent silk-trimmed dog raincoat. There are a couple of animal-free products though, such as a quilted dog coat of 100 percent polyester and a cotton polo, yet where these materials come from (i.e. sustainable practices vs. unsustainable ones) remains a mystery.

Without a doubt, Ralph Lauren’s move toward a more humane treatment of animals should be acknowledged and even held up as an example for other fashion companies. But perhaps, it’s time that luxury goods were truly redefined and fit the complete image that a company is trying to portray.

Watch Ralph Lauren’s “The Dog Walk” short film below and a “making of” feature that follows.

 

Image source: Orlando Weekly

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