Upcoming Doc 'SLAY' Exposes Animal Cruelty in Leather, Fur, and Wool Industries

Sophie Hirsh - Author

May 16 2022, Published 2:31 p.m. ET

The fashion industry reportedly kills at least 2.5 billion animals every year — and for that reason, a documentary exposing the cruel use of animal skins in the fashion industry is set to be released in the near future.

The new documentary SLAY aims to wake viewers up to the unethical ways the leather, fur, and wool industries treat animals, workers, and the environment. The doc is a must-watch for anyone who still buys animal-based fashion products — even though it is “the film fashion brands don’t want you to see,” according to the filmmakers.

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‘SLAY’ will expose greenwashing and animal cruelty in the fashion industry.

For the past three years, investigative filmmaker Rebecca Cappelli and her team have been investigating — and filming inside of — various fur and wool farms, leather tanneries, and skin processors in Australia, Brazil, China, France, India, Italy, and the U.S.

SLAY documentary lambskins
Source: SLAY/Indiegogo

"Baby" lambskins in Australia.

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Cappelli, who serves as director and producer for SLAY, explains in a teaser video that most people view the fashion industry’s central issues as environmental impact and workers’ rights, leaving the animals in the shadows. “One of my main inspirations for doing this film is the animals, who are completely left out of this conversation,” Cappelli says in the video.

“If someone had told me even half of what I have discovered doing this film, I wouldn’t have believed it,” she continues. “The fashion industry has been keeping the animals out of people’s minds for too long. Together we can change that,” she added in a statement.

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SLAY showcases the investigative footage Cappelli took, along with comments from experts in the sustainable fashion industry and animal rights activists. The movie keeps the plight of the animals used for fashion at the center of the story, and also shines a light on garment workers’ rights, environmental issues, and greenwashing tactics employed by the fashion industry.

Keegan Kuhn, known for directing documentaries including The End of Medicine, Cowspiracy, and What the Health, produced the film along with Cappelli. In a statement, Kuhn described SLAY as a “critically important and timely film about the greenwashing of fashion’s dirty secrets.”

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How to watch the documentary ‘SLAY’ — and support it:

SLAY has not yet been released — and according to Cappelli, the documentary is “too controversial for the mainstream media.” However, a number of other documentaries exposing animal cruelty have made it onto platforms like Netflix, such as Seaspiracy and Kuhn’s What the Health — so hopefully a streaming platform will choose to embrace SLAY, too.

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In the meantime, SLAY is running a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, with a goal of raising $60,000 to fund the final production touches, subtitle the film in different languages, promote the film, and more. As of publication, the campaign has reached 92 percent of its crowdfunding goal. Plus, SLAY has partnered with a slew of vegan fashion brands to offer perks to backers, including Bhava, Brave Gentleman, Sans Beast, Save The Duck, Unreal Fur, and Willow & Claude.

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According to one talking head who appears in SLAY’s teaser, the fashion industry “has normalized cruelty on a massive scale.” Animals should be seen as living beings — but when the fashion industry reduces animals to things like handbags, sweaters, and coats, they are literally being objectified.

With so many innovative, eco-friendly, and animal-friendly alternatives to materials like leather, fur, wool, and exotic animal skins out there these days, the fashion industry really has no justification for continuing to abuse animals for style.

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