Jun Takahashi’s ‘terrarium’ dresses with live butterflies create bad flutter for designer


Jun Takahashi presented his latest collection for Undercover at PFW.—Undercover@Instagram

Japanese fashion brand Undercover’s founder, Jun Takahashi, has issued an apology and a commitment to refrain from using live animals in designs after facing criticism from animal rights group PETA.

The controversy arose from Undercover’s “terrarium” dresses, showcased at Paris Fashion Week, which incorporated live butterflies.

Takahashi-designed dresses made a negative flutter as PETA raised concerns over the welfare of the insects, asserting that butterflies used for public displays are often sourced from nature or captive-bred on farms, resulting in distressing shipping conditions. 

In his response to PETA, Takahashi acknowledged the mistake, expressing regret for trapping butterflies that could have flown freely. He explained that the butterflies were sourced from an “ethical” breeder and were provided with proper nutrition, space, and temperature during the fashion show. 

However, PETA countered that captive-bred butterflies struggle to survive in the wild and can spread disease to local insect populations. Takahashi released the butterflies in a park after the runway show.

The designer revealed that his affinity for butterflies dates back to an experience at his grandmother’s funeral two decades ago, where a white butterfly flew by and stayed with him, bringing comfort. 

Despite Takahashi’s attempt to create a positive environment for the creatures, PETA emphasized the potential harm caused by using live animals in fashion displays.

A spokesperson for PETA mentioned a constructive discussion with Takahashi, acknowledging his commitment to learning and behaving better in the future. 

This incident adds to the ongoing debate about ethical practices in the fashion industry, with animal rights groups pushing for more sustainable and cruelty-free approaches.



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