Embracing compassion: How brands continue to join the cruelty-free bandwagon

The most recent one being Gucci's collaboration with Billie Eilish for their collection Horsebit.

Harper's Bazaar India

In the world of fashion and beauty, as in politics and economics, sustainability and eco-friendly have been buzzwords for quite some time. The industry has long grappled with ethical concerns related to the use of animal-derived materials, such as fur and exotic skins. But brands continue to jump onto the bandwagon, the latest one being the collaboration between Billie Eilish and Gucci, which has enlivened the conversation about cruelty-free fashion. There are some that have followed suit, and others who have led the way to the latest endeavours.

Here is a quick list of brands and collaborations that have made a breakthrough over the last few years. 

Billie Eilish x Gucci: A Stylish Step Towards Compassion

Horsebit Bag


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Vegan activist Billie Eilish partnered with Gucci for their new animal-free line featuring the Horsebit Bag. Not only did this create a lot of discourse online, it also fueled the ongoing conversation regarding how ethical brands are.

The iconic singer and global fashion influencer, joined forces with the renowned luxury brand to create a collection that not only pushes the boundaries of style but also champions cruelty-free fashion. The collaboration, which was launched earlier this year, showcases a range of innovative materials and designs, all in line with their shared commitment to animal welfare.

The Billie Eilish x Gucci collection prominently features cruelty-free alternatives to traditional leather and fur. Instead, they have opted for synthetic materials that emulate the luxurious look and feel of animal-derived fabrics without the harm. This move has been met with enthusiastic applause from fans and fashion enthusiasts worldwide, making it a pivotal moment in the industry's shift toward cruelty-free practices. Of course, there are other collections from the brand that are still not cruelty-free, so we can’t say it is a win yet, but a step nonetheless. 

Stella McCartney: Pioneering Sustainable Luxury

Veuve Clicquot: Cruelty Free Leather

Following suit, Stella McCartney, recently partnered up with Veuve Clicquot to produce cruelty-free leather. This has been a notable brand and has made significant strides in recent years towards being cruelty-free. With a strong commitment to sustainability, Stella McCartney has taken the initiative to eliminate animal-derived materials from her collections, and the results are remarkable.

Stella McCartney's dedication to cruelty-free fashion is not a recent trend; it has been a core value of the brand since its inception. McCartney herself is a lifelong vegetarian and has made it her mission to create luxury fashion that aligns with her ethical beliefs. Her brand's decision to use alternative materials, such as innovative vegan leathers and sustainable textiles, showcases her unwavering commitment to animal welfare and eco-conscious design.

In addition to her cruelty-free stance, Stella McCartney is also a champion of sustainable fashion practices. Her brand is a leader in promoting circular fashion, encouraging customers to repair and recycle their garments. McCartney's commitment to environmental and animal welfare has not only earned her accolades in the fashion industry but also inspired other brands to follow suit.


Clean At Sephora


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Sephora, one of the most renowned beauty retailers, globally, is making impressive strides towards a cruelty-free future. Recognising the growing demand for ethically sourced and animal-friendly products, Sephora has taken proactive steps to produce cruelty-free beauty products across its vast selection.

One of Sephora's most notable initiatives is the Clean at Sephora programme, which identifies and promotes products free from a range of harmful ingredients, including parabens, sulfates, and animal-derived substances. This programme not only ensures transparency for customers but also encourages brands to adopt cruelty-free practices.

Sephora has also significantly expanded its offerings of cruelty-free brands and products. By curating a diverse range of options, from makeup to skincare and haircare, Sephora empowers consumers to make compassionate choices without sacrificing quality or style. This move aligns with the growing global awareness of the ethical and environmental implications of traditional beauty practices.

Sephora has been actively collaborating with cruelty-free brands and supporting their transition towards entirely animal-friendly formulations. This commitment reflects Sephora's dedication to fostering a more compassionate and sustainable beauty industry.

Tarte Cosmetics

Tarte Cosmetics shines as a prime example of a brand deeply committed to ethical beauty in today's era of heightened consumer consciousness. The journey of Tarte Cosmetics towards cruelty-free principles predates the trend that now pervades the beauty industry. Its founders, led by Maureen Kelly, harboured a strong belief that cosmetics should not compromise animal welfare. This steadfast conviction has been the bedrock of Tarte's dedication to cruelty-free beauty.

One of Tarte's standout accomplishments lies in its certifications from esteemed organisations such as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and Leaping Bunny, both renowned for their commitment to cruelty-free advocacy. These certifications underscore the brand's unwavering opposition to animal testing and its resolute commitment to ensuring that none of its products or ingredients undergo testing on animals.N

Tarte's dedication to transparency is yet another cornerstone of its approach. The brand provides clear labeling of its products, including an easy-to-navigate website highlighting which items are vegan-friendly. This transparency empowers customers to make informed choices. Tarte Cosmetics also acknowledges that ethical beauty extends beyond cruelty-free and vegan formulations. The brand is taking substantial steps toward sustainability in its packaging by actively exploring eco-friendly alternatives that reduce waste and lessen environmental impact.

Michael Kors 


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In a significant stride towards ethical and sustainable fashion, Michael Kors had declared its commitment to going cruelty-free.

Michael Kors' decision to eliminate these materials from their collections reflects a growing global consciousness about animal welfare. It's a move that demonstrates a dedication to ethical fashion choices and a rejection of the outdated practices that have plagued the industry. But the impact of this decision reaches beyond ethics. It also addresses the environmental footprint of fashion. Animal agriculture, a significant source of fur and leather materials, contributes to deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions, and water pollution. By going cruelty-free, Michael Kors is making a statement about its commitment to reducing the industry's negative impact on our planet. This announcement is part of a broader shift in the fashion industry, with many brands increasingly opting for cruelty-free alternatives and sustainable practices. Michael Kors' decision sets a powerful example, encouraging other luxury fashion houses to follow suit. This model also applied to Jimmy Choo, as Michael Kors is the parent brand for the same.

The collaboration between Billie Eilish and Gucci represents a significant milestone in the fashion world's transition to cruelty-free practices. Their collection showcases that style and compassion can coexist seamlessly. Meanwhile, brands like Stella McCartney continue to lead the way in embracing cruelty-free, sustainable, and ethical fashion. As consumers become increasingly conscientious about the impact of their choices, these brands serve as shining examples of how fashion can evolve to reflect a more compassionate and sustainable future. The momentum for cruelty-free fashion is growing, and these brands are at the forefront of this positive change.