Genetically Modified Stingray Shoes
We have all seen animal skins in the form of outrageous couture in the past. While fashion is certainly subjective, people seem to buy into anything these days as long as it’s a new or fresh idea. When I came across this article on Ecopretuenist about a Thailand company that was creating genetically modified stingray shoes I couldn’t help but wonder if there was really a market for this type of fashion? The company so cleverly called “Rayfish” had this to say this on their website,
“Rayfish Footwear uses a patented process of bio-customization, which allows you to design your own living, transgenic stingray. Using the DNA on file in our genetic library, you can combine the skin patterns and coloration from dozens of different species.”
The company has a database of different animals DNA including cheetah, zebra, “finding Nemo”, and even Dalmatian spots. Finding Nemo stingray sneakers sound pretty ugly if you ask me.
If you visit their website, you can choose from 29 different patterns and colors. For instance if you want the spots of a tiger mixed with say the hue of a pink shrimp then, Rayfish will inject the “supergene” into the fetus of the stingray so that you can have your very own bio-customized creation of fashion. The baby stingrays will be raised in an aquaculture facility until they are about 6-8 months old and once harvested will be stitched together to create shiny new shoes for the consumer.
In a normal world, companies would just etch the design onto the shagreen (stingray’s skin) to formulate interesting and wacky prints but this company has taken it far beyond that. Each genetically modified ray will be subject to slaughter, which I’m sure PETA will have something to say about.
But looking back into history, stingray leather is not new to the fashion world, in fact it was at it’s fashionable peak in the roaring 20’s covering things like jewelry boxes and furniture. Today stingray leather is polished and sanded to become boots, belts, handbags, and other accessories. It is also by far the most durable leather used in the whole world to date.
If for whatever reason, you really want to own a pair of Rayfish shoes and can’t wait to purchase a pair, be prepared to pay an arm and a leg. Currently they are accepting a limited number of orders to the tune of $14,800-16,000. Once they are mass-produced the price is expected to drop down to $1,800. The prices of these shoes stack up well with famous and trendy animal skin items like the “bea bag” that’s made from alligator skins priced at $10,000 or Fendi high heels made from genuine snakeskin at $2,000 a pair.
My question is, are people really going to buy this? It’s a little weird and not mention inhumane for the animals. What do you think? Could this be the start of a whole new genetically modified type of fashion?
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