Turns out that the quirky fur-lined shoes that Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele sent down the runway are controversial for more than just their looks. Quartz reports that the fur lining on those Gucci slippers, clogs, and heels comes from wild kangaroos in Australia, and Gucci asserts that this is environmentally friendly.
A Kering spokesperson told Quartz: “Kangaroo harvest is one of the best examples of a well-managed harvest program, and thus can be classified under our guidelines as a sustainable fur.” In Australia, kangaroos are viewed by some as a nuisance, the same way deer are in the US. Australian state governments set up quotas for kangaroo hunting each year to control the population, but some Australians are against hunting the animals under any circumstances.
Fur from wild animals is rare on the runways, as most fur comes from factory farms. Quartz’s Jenni Avins debates whether customers will find Gucci’s use of fur from wild kangaroos to be ethical, writing, “Those who ethically oppose the killing of animals for human consumption will find no comfort in fur obtained from wild animals. But for others, the well-regulated hunting of a carefully managed wild population could be a more acceptable source of fur than farms—which are often criticized for mistreatment of animals and environmental damage—just as wild game makes a palatable alternative to factory-farmed meat.”