* Protests have become more vigorous
* Woman unveils anti-fur banner at Cavalli show
MILAN Feb 21 Environmental groups staged
colourful demonstrations during the first two days of the Milan
fashion week to protest against the use of toxic chemicals and
furs in designer garments.
Catwalk shows traditionally have offered a stage for
activists campaigning in defence of wildlife and the
environment, but growing demand for coloured furs and washed
denim jeans has fuelled more vigorous protests.
On Thursday, a woman activist tried to interrupt the show of
Just Cavalli, the youth-oriented line by Roberto Cavalli,
approaching the catwalk with a banner reading "Your fashion,
The woman, whose banner was signed "visoniliberi.org" and
was intended as a protest against Cavalli's use of fur in
clothes other than those at the show, was photographed by news
media before she was pulled away by staff.
Greenpeace on Wednesday rolled down a 12-m (yard-)-long
green banner in the shape of a glove along the Sforzesco Castle,
a Milan's landmark site, as part of its "fashion duel" campaign.
The environmental group is asking luxury goods makers to
divulge details about their manufacturing policies and make
commitments to preserving Amazon forests and water resources.
"We hope to create an open dialogue with Greenpeace, aimed
at an enduring, shared commitment for the sustainability of the
planet," Italy's National Fashion Chamber said in a statement.
Fifteen brands including Valentino, Dior, Gucci, Giorgio
Armani and Versace have been asked by Greenpeace to say whether
they buy leather from cattle that are linked to destruction of
the Amazon, or use chemicals that can damage waterways.
Greenpeace deems the responses so far received by the brands
unsatisfactory, with only Valentino getting their full approval.
Sales of fur reached record highs last year, according to
the International Fur Trade Federation (IFTF), as China's
growing appetite for luxury goods put the once-taboo material
back on the catwalks.
Visoniliberi.org calls for the abolition of fur farming.
(Reporting by Antonella Ciancio; Editing by Michael Roddy)