Chanel handbags made of exotic skins will soon become a scarcity.
The luxury French fashion house has told WWD it will no longer use crocodile, lizard, snake and stingray skins for its future collections. And though Chanel uses little fur, the material may be also be on the phase-out list.
“It is our experience that it is becoming increasingly difficult to source exotic skins,” WWD reported Chanel as saying in a statement. The brand said, instead of going that route, it will work on innovating with fabric and leather to create “a new generation of high-end products.”
Namely, Chanel’s innovation experiments may center around “agri-food,” or using raw materials derived from the agricultural sector.
Already, companies like Orange Fiber have appealed to high-end brands like Salvatore Ferragamo, which tapped into the new raw material made from citrus juice byproducts to make a capsule collection of scarves and tops with a silk-like hand.
Others in the agri-fiber business, like Samatoa Lotus Textiles, are making biodegradable and recyclable fiber from the trunk of banana trees.
While vegan leather options have evolved in recent years as more companies seek sustainable alternatives, the material hasn’t yet crossed over into the luxury segment in a meaningful way, though there are some brands that have embraced these alternate options.
Stella McCartney, which has built her brand on sustainability, uses faux leather for her designs, and she has tapped Bolt Threads’ leather-like Mylo, made from mushroom mycelium cells, for her signature Falabella handbag. Earlier this year, Hugo Boss introduced a collection of its BOSS men’s wear sneakers made from Piñatex, a leather alternative made from pineapple leaf fibers. Even Givenchy has turned to “faux-leather” for its Antigona tote, which is made from polyurethane instead of animal leather.