Cruelty is quickly going out of style.

Fashion label “Call it Spring” has always been a few steps ahead of the responsibility curve. The footwear brand already enacts positive change around the globe, from partnering with clean water initiative Me to We to ethical sourcing, which ensures humane conditions for the workers who make their shoes. Now, the company has taken the next step towards a green future. Call it Spring announced on their website that their 2019 line will be vegan and cruelty-free.

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The company explained the move as a reaction to customer demand. Unlike some brands, who have tossed in vegan lines as a one-off, Call it Spring has decided their commitment to veganism is no passing craze. The label will become a fully vegan brand going forward, and all new vegan products will be specially marked on their website.

“What’s the big deal?” you may ask. Huge fashion companies like H&M have announced vegan lines, and fashion labels everywhere have ditched fur and exotic animal skins. With the clothing world so committed to sustainable and cruelty-free production, You’d be forgiven for thinking this news isn’t astonishing.

But Call it Spring’s announcement is crucial because it addresses the big, cow-shaped elephant in the room: leather. It’s been a hard sell getting fashion labels to lose the cow skin. Leather remains immensely popular despite growing vegan demand. Lines like Victoria Beckham have done away with exotic animal skins, but have been more timid toward leather, most likely because leather products still fly off the shelves. There have been huge advancements in vegan leather, such as banana fiber and pineapple innovations. However, in order to break our addiction to cowhide, we need brave brands who are willing to drop the stuff completely. No half-measures.

This hesitance toward leather (and other more mainstream animal products such as feathers and silk) is precisely why it’s crucial for smaller labels to pave the way. Call it Spring’s announcement serves as a challenge to the fashion industry as a whole. It’s not enough to jump on the cruelty-free bandwagon when it’s convenient. Cruelty-free is a state of mind, not a fad.

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