“We don’t want money.
We don’t want likes.
We want you to take 5 minutes to google these statements.”
In an age of digital media frenzy - try as we might to deny it - it’s difficult for important issues to grab our attention unless its package happens to be prettier than the gory underbelly you’re bound to find beneath the ribbon-and-paper routine. Understanding this inherent hypocrisy in humans and then leveraging it to the advantage of the issues that require it however, that’s something we’ve grown to respect and admire. And that’s exactly what animal-friendly luxury fashion accessories brand, Rossoyuki, has done with their provocative fashion film on Animal Cruelty & Humane Fashion, in collaboration with PETA, YODA and Melange.
[Watch it below]
The stunning star of the 2-minute film and outspoken animal activist herself, Anjali Mody, agrees. “I think the very reason I agreed to do this almost immediately is because any time someone mentions a film about animal cruelty they’re immediately conjuring up images of blood and gore. This, to me, was a very optimistic view on the entire issue which still had a very strong message, just shown in a different light,” she says.
Often asked to grace the glossy pages of fashion magazines thanks to her unique style sensibilities, Anjali insists it’s important for people to realise that you can still be fashionable without killing someone or something, and hopes that both bigger fashion brands and smaller designers feel encouraged to follow suit once they watch this.
Rife with highly stylised and conceptual shots, almost every fashionable frame is accompanied with the subtle presence of an animal and the focus never wavers from the crux of this film’s ultimate message—how beautiful an animal-human relationship can really be. Co-founder of YODA and Rossoyuki, 24-year-old Priyanshi Mehta felt it was important to “leave viewers with a choice,” at the end of the film. “I didn’t want to preach. I think everyone who’s educated enough will be able to make their own way in this fight for a better world for animals once they’ve done their research on all the facts we’ve included within the video.”
The facts she speaks of are instilled within the frames of the video, using delicate typography to draw further attention to the message through certain (shocking) statistics around animal cruelty. Though PETA India helped in providing such data, the ones included were the few that really stood out the most to Priyanshi and her team at YODA. What’s more interesting still, the limited number of specifically Indian statistics has to do with the fact that India’s charting of such information is - surprise, surprise - abysmally low. Hence, “Even the 700 Indian puppy mills we’ve mentioned in the video are not an accurate figure because those are only the registered ones,” Priyanshi clarifies. “There’s so much underworld activity that goes on with these that it would take a higher level of intervention than most NGOs or animal-loving individuals are able to accomplish.”
When asked about the thought behind combining fashion with animal cruelty in this particular instance, Priyanshi’s goal is resoundingly clear. “There’s a feeling of hopelessness attached to typical animal cruelty videos. Of course they make you wince and they make you sad and angry, but people feel disconnected, as far as what they can do about it is concerned. Humane fashion is a good place to start. If the only thing you can do is sit here and ensure you at least don’t buy animal-harming products, then we have to believe that that can at least change the life of one animal.”
Ultimately, combining something as trend-centric as fashion with an issue that’s struggling for its 15 minutes may not appear to complement each other, but in this case, the product is definitely something timeless. Designed to make you sit up and take notice, if nothing else, the statement that inspires Priyanshi is a good one to sign off with. “If the buying stops, the killing will too.”
If you’re serious about supporting humane fashion, please urge the Indian Beauty & Hygiene Association and its members to support – not obstruct – existing ban on animal testing for cosmetics and efforts to end import of cosmetics tested on animals outside India.
Here’s a list of Indian brands you can trust, which have all been verified by PETA India. And here’s 5 of the world’s most animal friendly fashion brands you can shop at.