Fashion

Anita Dongre: Fashion With A Conscience

By sudha.hariharan

November 24, 2016

One of India’s leading fashion designers and long-time PETA friend Anita Dongre,refuses to use cashmere and leather in her creations. Her kindness for animals has won a special place in the hearts of animal lovers.  She was recently honoured with a ‘Compassionate Designer Award’.

Buying leather perpetrates the suffering of cows. When transported, they are crammed into crowded vehicles that their bones snap. They also have trouble breathing and many die en route to the slaughterhouse. Once there, panicked animals are hacked with dull knives in full view of other cows.

Cashmere is the hair that is shorn from cashmere goats’ underbellies. These goats are generally kept on farms where they suffer mutilations, such as dehorning, castration, and notching of their ears without painkillers. Goats with “defects” in their coats are typically killed like all others who are ultimately slaughtered too. Shearing robs goats of their natural insulation, leaving them to suffer in cold temperatures and prone to illness. Most cashmere also comes from China, which lacks the basic animal protection laws.

A vegan,Anita  has won a special place in the heart of many through her efforts to help animals – and at a special function held at The Art Hub in Worli People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India honoured her with a Compassionate Designer Award for her refusal to use cashmere and leather in her designs as well as her promotion of vegan eating and animal-protection issues via social media and her company’s website.

The 53-year-old designer  and founder of House of Anita Dongre  is today recognized as India’s leading fashion house. She was born and raised in  Mumbai and  studied Fashion Design at the fashion institute of SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai. In 1995. Her brands AND (western wear) Global Desi a boho-chic brand inspired by India’s colours and prints)) and her signature label Anita Dongre ( bespoke bridal, occasion wear, Pret and Menswear), and Pinkcity, a handcrafted jadau fine jewellery brand are currently available through over 650 points of sale across India.

Anita recently  launched Grassroot, a sustainable and eco-conscious luxury prêt label. Being vegan and an animal-lover, she lives her personal philosophy through conscious efforts as a fashion designer, introducing cruelty-free accessories, thereby representing fashion with a conscience.

“Dongre’s heart is as big as her talent”, says PETA India Associate Director of Celebrity and Public Relations Sachin Bangera. “We thank her for standing up for animals through her work and other actions.”

Buying leather directly supports the misery and suffering of animals. In India, cows and buffaloes are crammed onto vehicles in such lrge numbers that many die en route to the slaughterhouse. Once there, they are hacked apart with dull knives in full view of one another.

As seen in PETA’s exposé “Glass Walls”, in today’s industrialised meat and dairy industries, chickens’ throats are cut while they’re still conscious, fish suffocate or are cut open while they are still alive, pigs are often stabbed in the heart as they scream in pain, and calves are torn away from their mothers within hours of birth.