Diesel is a luxury retail brand that is based in Italy. It recently hit the news for the Diesel Micro Mini Skirt launch which the netizens heavily criticised. The skirt is made out of leather.
Diesel launched its leather micro mini skirt as a part of its fall and winter collection. Diesel has not clarified if it chose to use synthetic or fake leather for designing the skirt. However, a brand using fake leather can also be viewed as a problematic practice.
Diesel's Standards Surrounding The Production Of The Diesel Micro Mini Skirt
The brand claims to be environment-friendly and commits to using sustainable alternatives. Despite claiming to adhere to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) standards, it does not promote transparency around living wages or satisfactory working conditions for their workers.
The brand mostly sources cotton, linen, semi-synthetic, or petroleum-based fibres for its garments.
Diesel is not a cruelty-free brand. The Diesel Micro Mini skirt is made out of leather. It claims to not use animal skin but does not deter from using feathers, silk, wool, and leather to design its garments. This causes a lot of suffering to the animals. No animals should have to suffer when other ethical alternatives are readily available. Vegan leather, Peace Silk/Ahimsa Silk, and Linen are some cruelty-free alternatives that the brand easily can adopt.
Brands should be conscious of the narrative they should influence their audience with. Animals should not be made the suffer for something as fleeting as a ‘fashion trend’. When brands choose to design clothing that is not cruelty-free, it sends a message out to its audience conveying that such an act is ethical. Customers choose to purchase such products of popular brands at times as a status symbol or to keep pace with their friend circles.
When one purchases leather one cannot be sure of where the leather came from. A lot of these animals are butchered for leather. A lot of these animals go through unanaesthetised castration, tail-docking, crowding, dehorning, and branding for the extraction of leather. Leather at times is also obtained from illegally poached and endangered animals. Some animals are skinned alive for leather, and other animals like alligators are beaten alive with hammers for leather extraction. The leather industry has never been kind toward animals. The animals should not have to go through such horrors for humans to keep them warm in winter or to serve as a decorative piece on their clothing.
Issues Surrounding The Diesel Micro Mini Skirt
Why imitate a material that causes so much harm and trauma to animals? Can the obsession to look glamorous be deemed an ideal cause to commemorate a practice that harms animals?
The Diesel micro mini skirt is designed to be a strip of leather that is secured at the waist with the help of velcro.
Here is what the viewers had to say on their Twitter handles:
“biggest disappointment of this year for me has to be the fact that the diesel mini skirt is actually inconvenient, impractical, cheaply made and packaged and it sells for 1000 usd like be f****** for real.” commented one user.
“That Diesel skirt is ONE THOUSAND whole dollars and you get a VELCRO CLOSURE…… and you can’t sit down in it like what”, commented another.
A third said, “that Diesel skirt is like definition of good concept awful execution cuz it wouldve been sooo cute if it was made better.”
Style influencer, Adrienne Reau on social media did a video reviewing the skirt. She purchased it only to wear it outside for 20 mins to adjudicate it as impractical. She had decided to return the garment. She said that the garment felt like rubber and the velcro was a cheap touch to it. Additionally, she shared that she found the garment impractical to walk and sit in.
A customer can hope a garment being released in the fall/winter collection ought to keep one warm, but one couldn’t be farther from reality. One might consider oneself lucky if their almost bare backside doesn’t get frozen in the winter in the skirt.
What’s more, is that the cost of the diesel micro mini skirt is priced at $1000 which amounts to 82,000 INR. A business will always keep its profit margin in mind during pricing its products. However, can one really expect netizens to believe that the production cost of the skirt is anywhere close to the exorbitant amount being charged for it? Workers for well-established brands are often made to work under inhospitable circumstances. Are these workers then being taken care of with the amount that the netizens are being charged for the product?
Even if one were to make an argument in favour of the intangible acumen that goes behind a good garment and design, one cannot seem to do so without making a mockery of the ethical standards involved in the leather skirt’s production.