WARNING – GRAPHIC CONTENT: Leather made from the skins of humans is the latest online shopping offering from animal rights group PETA.
The fake online store was launched overnight in the United States to highlight society’s “acceptance” of using the skin of “any living being” for fashion.
Featuring images of jackets, skirts, boots, belts, and more, the Urban Outraged website makes the link between leather and the death of animals.
PETA said the goal of the campaign is to help people understand that animals are sentient beings “with emotions, intelligence, and the desire to live”.
“Why aren’t you horrified by what’s already in your closet?,” the website asks.
PETA asks consumers to rethink buying wool as well as leather
It’s not just leather the creators of the website want consumers to consider.
Sumptuously photographed woollen items are shown hanging from a rack, but PETA says they have a dark side.
While they are a far cry from the horrific leather items that appear to be inspired by the murders of US serial killer Ed Gein, they too impact the lives of animals, according to PETA.
“If you own animal-derived materials like wool, leather, alpaca, cashmere, mohair, down, or silk you’ve bought into barbaric industries involving violent practices that would be considered cruel and unusual were they performed on humans,” the website states.
'It's someone's skin': PETA campaigns against leather
Juliet, Sophie and Dan are just some of the human names delegated to the items “for sale” on the website.
Lips and teeth are just two features that can be seen embedded into the leather.
Each accessory or piece of clothing can also be traced back to the part of the human it has been “dissected” from.
The online outlet follows a campaign from PETA Asia which set up a “fairly gruesome” pop-up shop in Bangkok in 2016.
Horrified shoppers were forced to look into the history of their leather items, opening handbags and shoes to reveal blood, organs and beating hearts.
PETA’s Laura Weyman-Jones told Yahoo News the animal rights organisation is focusing on leather because over 1.4 billion cows, goats, sheep and kangaroos are killed for their leather every year.
Equating the everyday item to much maligned fur accessories, she said consumers must remember that leather was once "someone’s skin”.
Ms Weyman-Jones suggested environmentalists should think twice before buying leather, just as many are beginning to do when it comes to meat.
“Not only is the leather industry responsible for the cruel slaughter of millions of animals, it also fuels the live export trade and is one of the most environmentally damaging materials around, contributing to land clearing, greenhouse gas emissions, and water pollution,” she said.
“Sustainable vegan leather made from apples, cork, mushrooms, paper, tea, and other materials mimics the properties of animal-derived leather without the cruelty or environmental destruction.
“There is no need to wear anybody else’s skin for fashion.”
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.