Roadkill Couture: A New Fashion of Recycling?

I happened to see a little blurb on AOL News about “roadkill wedding gowns”. My immediate reaction was a resounding “WTF” and I had to click on the article. They got it wrong though. The name of the line is Roadkill Couture, and yes, dead animals are used in their pieces….But the entire garments themselves are not constructed out of dead animals. They have accents of animal remains from fur and feathers to skulls, horns, and even entire whole bird wings. Also, the line features styles besides bridal fashion. As for the bridal collection, it is actually being presented in London next week. The Roadkill Couture collection premiered on the runway in 2011 to a standing ovation, but as I am sure you can expect with anything involving animals, there has also been controversy behind the collection.

Before anyone gets up in arms over cruelty to animals, you should know that the founding designer of the line Jess Eaton said in a press release, “I never, ever kill animals for our designs and we wouldn’t accept anything that has been killed for the purpose of turning it into a fashion item. What I do is take these animals, once their natural lives are over and give them an endless afterlife.”

It’s not an entirely unique or new idea. My friend Roxana Hire recently made some jewelry out of deer bones from a carcass she found in the woods. Really amazing stuff, I never would have thought of making anything like that. Check out some of her pieces. She has some still available which she will be posting in her etsy store soon.

Deer Rib necklace. I'm actually buying this from Rox. :P

Deer Rib necklace.
I actually just bought this from Rox. 😛

Deer Vertabrae Necklace.

Deer Vertabrae Necklace.

Deer Jaw Bone Necklace.This one sold almost instantly.

Deer Jaw Bone Necklace.
This one sold almost instantly.

Is it wrong to wear this sort of item as fashion? Some may think so, but I disagree. If the animal died a natural death, what is wrong with immortalizing its remains in fashion? I would never want an animal to be hunted for the sake of mass producing such a product, but if the animal died natually, no one is getting hurt. Afterall, as Roxana said of her of jewelry with the deer bones, “Death comes to us all.” It’s not like we’ve never done this before. After all, humans have been wearing skins and furs of animals for centuries; in addition to using bone, teeth, and tusks in numerous items.

The EatonNott website presents themselves as fashion designers who love to recycle, IMO. Several of their other previous works feature different types of materials recycled into fashion. By using naturally deceased animals in their pieces, are they not (in a way) still just recycling?

Just a thought.

Some of these pieces are pretty outlandish, while others are pretty cool. You can view images of the Roadkill Couture collection on the EatonNott page here. Would you wear anything like this?


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