Rachel Freire’s “Cow Nipple” Dress Sparks Controversy at London Fashion Week

Rachel Freire, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical style, animal cruelty, bizarre eco-fashion, yak nipples

Londoners can hardly be called prudes, but a dress made from 3,000 protruding cow nipplesnot yak, as People.co.uk erroneously reported—had Fashion Week attendees clutching at their pearls like disapproving dowagers. Designed by Liverpool-born designer Rachel Freire, who fashioned the nipples into disarmingly genteel rosettes, the floor-length gown has raised the ire of the British public, politicians, and animal-rights groups alike, who have branded it “inappropriate and disturbing,” “absolutely grotesque,” “sickening and repulsive,” and a “runaway freak show,” according to the gossip website.

So tell us, is a dress made from cow nipples haute or not?

  • 664 Votes HELL NO! There's no denying it; it's sickening.
  • 404 Votes HELL YES! What an innovative use for a resource that's typically landfilled.
  • 850 Votes MEH! It's no different than leather.

View Results

Rachel Freire, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical style, animal cruelty, bizarre eco-fashion, yak nipples

NIP SLIP

But Freire, who obtains her materials from tannery waste, doesn’t comprehend the outrage. “All of the leather used is a byproduct of the meat industry and the nipples are a byproduct of that leather production,” she writes on her Facebook wall. “Their use is absolutely no different to any use of leather, the source is exactly the same. To specifically attack me for using the most narrative part of the animal seems strange when everyone who uses leather is doing exactly the same thing, it is just more abstract and therefore more socially acceptable.”

“Their use is absolutely no different to any use of leather, the source is exactly the same,” Freire says.

Which brings us to a critical question: Is the dress more objectionable because we’re forced to confront its source? If leather from hide is copacetic, then why shouldn’t any other part of the animal? Are we just Thinking of the ChildrenTM or does our censure, particularly for people who have never seen a Porterhouse steak they didn’t like, frankly smack of hypocrisy? Surely our indignation could be better spent on curtailing livestock production—one of the major causes of global warming, land degradation, water pollution, and biodiversity loss—without which all of this fuss would be rendered moot.

“What I am doing is recycling,” Freire tells People.co.uk. “The people criticizing are clearly clueless about the amount of leather wasted on a daily basis.”

[Via TreeHugger]

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4 Responses to “Rachel Freire’s “Cow Nipple” Dress Sparks Controversy at London Fashion Week”

  1. HUmm says:

    Yeah they came from the exact source as leathers. But just because people eat beef doesn’t mean people eat bull dicks. ( at least not all.) Or whatever nasty part that’s left.

  2. Churchie says:

    If the critics stopped wearing leather shoes and eating meat they would be entitled to pass judgement. What is more relevant is how the animals were treated while alive, and as they were killed. That’s something to consider when using any animal product. There is no difference between the use of steak, eggs or skin, it comes from living animals that deserve to be treated humanely.
    I think the use of the leather in this case is beautiful and inspired.

  3. atannex says:

    Really no different than leather – great that more of the animal is used rather than wasted – I think though the designer is really hoping for the controversy – otherwise, if it is just leather, why bring it up? 15 minutes of fame …ta da!

  4. pcard74 says:

    what if there was no beef industry? and no dairy industry? and no leather industry? what if we just let cows live and be cows instead of seeing them as “products”? this makes me so sad :(

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