Sunday, June 23, 2024

A fashion designer uses live butterflies in her clothes


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CNN) — After criticism from animal rights group PETA for using live butterflies in his clothing designs, the founder of Japanese brand Undercover has apologized, promising not to use live animals in his designs.

“I regret that I trapped butterflies that could fly freely in the sky,” Jun Takahashi said in a letter to PETA shared with CNN on Tuesday.

Undercover’s ‘terrarium’ dresses, featuring live flowers and butterflies, were unveiled during the brand’s Spring/Summer 2024 fashion show at Fashion Week in the French capital Paris in September, but the clothes raised concerns. Animal rights activists about insect welfare.

PETA wrote to Takahashi in October that the butterflies used in public displays were “usually taken from the wild or captive on farms” and that many were crushed or died while being shipped in parcels “as commercial goods.” .

“Many wedding planners now avoid butterflies at weddings because they are (mostly) dead or half-dead,” the North American Butterfly Society said.

In his reply dated October 17, Takahashi said he wanted the butterflies in his display to be safe and healthy. He wrote that his team obtained it from an “ethical” breeder and gave it proper nutrition and enough space to breathe and fly, while keeping it at the right temperature.

Credit: Victor Virgil/Gamma-Rabo/Getty Images

But when the designer tried to create a “more comfortable environment” for his brand’s creatures, he knew he was doing it wrong. “I felt guilty, but decided to put butterflies on my own creative dress,” he wrote.

Takahashi said he released the insects into the garden immediately after the runway show, although PETA’s letter notes that captive butterflies “struggle to find food sources, rarely survive in the wild, and can spread disease to communities.”

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A PETA spokesperson told CNN on Tuesday that a representative from the organization met privately with Takahashi to thank him for his letter and that they had a “constructive discussion.”

In his letter, the designer indicated that he had developed a fascination with butterflies since attending his grandmother’s funeral two decades ago. He said: “I went to the nearby river and a white butterfly flew near me and did not leave my side.”

He continued: “I was very happy with the experience and believed that my grandmother was getting closer to me.” Takahashi added that he had conducted other similar experiments with insects.

He told PETA: “I hope you appreciate our good faith and don’t hesitate to tell us more about this topic because we want to learn how to behave better,” adding, “I pray to God that the butterflies come back to me. .”

Pandora Bacchus
Pandora Bacchus
"Coffee evangelist. Alcohol fanatic. Hardcore creator. Infuriatingly humble zombie ninja. Writer. Introvert. Music fanatic."

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