Wearing skin-tight vegan leather dresses and skeleton-like face paint, a trio of models crashed the opening day of London Fashion Week with signs proclaiming, “Leather Is Dead” and “I Wouldn’t Be Caught Dead Wearing Animal Skin.”

“For every leather jacket or bag, a sensitive animal endures a miserable life and a terrifying death,” says PETA Director Elisa Allen. “PETA is calling on designers, buyers, and shoppers to join the vegan fashion revolution and kick animal skins to the kerb.”

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – notes that more than a billion animals are killed for leather every year. They endure extreme crowding and deprivation as well as castration, branding, tail-docking, and dehorning, all without any painkillers. At abattoirs, their throats are cut and some are even skinned and dismembered while they’re still conscious.

Superior vegan leather fabrics available today include microfibres, Ultrasuede, and recycled polyurethanes as well as materials made from pineapple leaves (Piñatex), mushrooms, and wine grapes (Vegea).

For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.