ISLAND DOG VILLAGE EF: A PROJECT TO SAVE THE DOGS OF YULIN
Island Dog Village EF has been opened in the north of China, a project that has the goal of sheltering, treating and caring for dogs saved by the cruel massacres that take place in the poorest areas of the country. The symbol of this barbarity is the city of Yulin, where every year the Yulin Dog Meat Festival takes place, a macabre local tradition where these animals are kidnapped, held in inhumane conditions and tortured without mercy, only to end up boiled alive in the stalls of the streets of Yulin. The initiative stemmed from a project by Davide Acito, animal activist, who for years has waged a battle to protect the dogs in this atrocious event. Finally, his centre became a reality thanks to his encounter with Elisabetta Franchi, who has teamed with Davide and APA (Action Project Animal), the non-profit association that has made the fight for animal rights as its primary mission. The Island Dog Village EF, which bears the initials of the designer, was created as an oasis, a protected island for sheltering and treating these creatures saved from a destiny of violence: it is further demonstration of the commitment of the Italian designer to protect animals, an objective she pursues with constancy also through the cruelty free collections that take her name.
IF THEY COULD TALK...
"I am outraged and deeply saddened by what is happening to stray dogs in some regions of Italy, Sardinia, Calabria, Campania, Apulia and in particular in Sicily, where stray dogs have not been managed properly by the competent authorities.
Unfortunately, in these regions the phenomenon is out of control. Just consider that in Sicily the dogs without a family and not living in kennels in 2016 were 39,450 compared to only 5,266 sterilisations. In the province of Agrigento, in 2016 the stray population was estimated to be 2,500 dogs and only 187 sterilisations were carried out. A very small number. *LAV sources
A FIGHT FOR THE MOON BEARS
Bile farms: this is the cruel name for the breeding farms in China and Vietnam of moon bears, called such for the white spot in the shape of a crescent moon they bear on their chests.
But they are not true breeding farms: they are places of torture and cruelty, where the pitiable animals undergo extraction of their precious bile, an ingredient used in Chinese Traditional Medicine for its beneficial properties for the past 3,000 years. Shut in tiny cages, hardly bigger than themselves, these innocent animals are subjected to malnutrition, kept in depressing hygienic conditions, and are forced to suffer lesions, bone deformations and infections.
In view of this torment and thanks to awareness campaigns conducted by animal rights associations and the Provincial Forestry Department, the Chinese government is changing its stance and has begun to prohibit this inhumane practice. This, however, has not stopped several private entities from continuing the atrocity.
Elisabetta Franchi has not remained indifferent to the cruelty; she has decided to support the cause and to help moon bears with substantial financing in the hopes and in the firm conviction that such a practice can no longer be tolerated.
Elisabetta Franchi strongly supports AnimalAsia by joining the petition to end the dog meat festival in Yulin, a city in the south of China where this atrocious carnage is held every year. An unimaginable massacre that shows the incivility with which the poor animals are treated. Even the Chinese animal activists have mobilised to try to stop this cruelty. Already in 2015, even on social networks, many people from all parts of the world sided against the Yulin Festival using the hashtag #StopYulin.
Thanks to the clamour created globally, the event has gotten smaller every year. In fact, it has gone from 10,000 dogs slaughtered every year to about
1,000 last year. But even just one dog is one too many...
ANIMALS ARE NOT CLOWN
Elisabetta Franchi, extraordinary member of LAV, has always been active in the defence of animal rights by supporting numerous initiatives for their protection, from the financing of innumerable beneficial projects to a commitment to an ethical and "animal free" fashion in her collections. A LAV report has shown that Italy continues to fund circuses with animals and businesses of the same sort, which in truth are hotbeds of commercial exploitation and abuse of animals, not to mention being an anachronistic spectacle. In order to raise public awareness of circus abuse, LAV promoted the petition "We won't give a single euro to circuses with animals", asking ministers and parliament to relocate the animals held by circuses and to support the facilities that host them (such as the Wild and Exotic Animal Recovery Centre in Semproniano in Tuscany, of which LAV is a partner). Aware of this dramatic situation and outraged by the silence of the Italian institutions, Elisabetta Franchi partnered with LAV to battle the public funding of circuses, working together to boycott the circus, thus saving hundreds of helpless animals.
"Circus is not fun for animals".
This is the message that can be read on the special T-shirts of the Animal Free line that were created for the Fall/Winter 2016-2017 collection and presented on the catwalk: an appeal launched by the Designer to further raise public awareness and reveal the cruelties hidden behind the scenes at the circus.
"The magic of the circus and the allure of circus art are centred on acrobats, jugglers and dancers and have nothing to do with the abuse of animals, forced with violence to perform actions and poses that for them are unnatural. Animals must live according to the rhythms and rules of nature".
EF LOVES DOGS CAPSULE COLLECTION
Elisabetta Franchi, in partnership with Megan Hess, has launched a line dedicated to our four-legged friends, a must for those who love animals. Collars, leashes, carriers, bowls and coats: a selection of products that reflect the sophisticated style of the brand and decorated with special illustrations by Hess. The proceeds from the sale of the products is entirely donated to associations that deal with the protection and defence of animals.
TAO MODA 2015
On 18 July 2015 for the Tao Awards that recognise Italian excellence, Elisabetta Franchi received the Fashion and Social award for her animal-friendly commitment and responsible fashion.
FOUNDATION OF THE NON-PROFIT SALESI CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL
Elisabetta Franchi supports the project "Treating and coping with pain in Paediatric Onco-haematology" of the non-profit Salesi Children's Hospital Foundation and funds pet therapy for children in the Salesi Hospital in Ancona.
The Salesi Foundation is responsible for assisting children during their stay in the structure, trying to create a family environment full of love and understanding, and meeting their needs: playing, smiling, colours and music. The "Dog on Call" project offers pet therapy to help the small patients with particular difficulties. Indeed, the contact with four-legged friends strengthens their self-esteem and decreases stress levels, giving them a reason to smile during their days in the hospital.
In May 2015 Elisabetta Franchi joined the "Cash&Rocket 2015" charity initiative promoted by Grazia magazine and its director Silvia Grilli to benefit three associations: OrphanAid, which helps orphans and families by offering assistance and social protection, Shine on Sierra Leone, which is dedicated to education in that country and Sumbandila, involved in schooling programmes in South Africa.
DOGHOUSE “THE LEONE'S FRIENDS”
The love for four-legged friends is the reason of the meeting between Elisabetta Franchi and Donatella.
The story of Donatella started fifteen years ago when she decided to open a shelter for abandoned dogs and cats in Civitella, a small town closer to Forlì.
Her battle for the protection and respect of animals has continued over the years and Donatella saved more than fifty dogs and thirty cats from the streets, giving them food and medicine with means at her disposal.
Elisabetta Franchi has taken the cause to heart, and has supported, and still supports, the small Civitella shelter, now an ONLUS, "Leo’s friends", helping to builds a safer and more hospitable shelter for four-legged friends and cats.
The Designer has a bigger project for the Civitella’s shelter: she would like to create a home, a real doghouse that can host abandoned dogs and cats.
In addition to fashion, Elisabetta Franchi has always had a great passion that she cultivates not only in her private life but also by combining it with work: the passion for animals and the defence of their rights.
In fact, starting with the Fall-Winter 2014-2015 collection, Elisabetta gradually eliminated feathers and down filling, implementing innovative and experimental systems like polyester fibre or wadding. With the Spring-Summer 2015 collection the use of animal feathers and down was completely abolished.
A further step that concretised the philosophy of an ethical, cruelty-free fashion was to ban angora wool from the collections.
Contrary to common percep¬tion, angora fur is pulled from the animals using cruel tech¬niques that harm their dignity and cause atrocious suffering.
Since 2014 Elisabetta Franchi has completely abolished the use of angora wool from the collections.
FUR FREE RETAILER PROGRAM
Implementing the philosophy of ethical fashion, Elisabetta Franchi does not include apparel with animal furs in her collections. It is a commitment undertaken and signed with a self-certification in the Fur Free Retailer Programme, in collaboration with LAV (Anti Vivisection League). It is a program established with the aim of promoting trade policies that respect animal rights by eliminating items containing animal furs.
VV (NO FURS, NO FEATHERS) Elisabetta Franchi is a part of the Animal Free Fashion project founded by LAV. With this commitment the company has achieved the second-best ethical rating thanks to the creation of animal-free furs and down jackets, dresses, shirts and skirts in faux leather, not to mention bags and small accessories.