Still one of the nicest guys in fashion and every animal’s bestie, John Bartlett is set to receive an award from the Humane Society of The United States. The CFDA award-winning designer tells us what the honor is for and why he’s still chugging along to see a fur-free world. Plus! What kind of dog would Bartlett be?
Congrats! What is the honor exactly?
The Henry Spira Humane Corporate Progress Award is an award from the Humane Society of the United States founded to acknowledge businesses promoting compassion and awareness in the market place. I was honored for the fur-free campaign I created this year.
Why are you fighting for animal rights?
My goal is to help raise awareness about the institutionalized suffering and cruelty animals experience because of our hunger for certain things. I particularly want to speak out against the fur industry, which kills over 75 million animals a year for our industry’s obsession with luxury. I get very sad when I see fur being shown on the runway.
Do you think fashion will ever really be fur-free?
Gosh, I hope so. What the industry needs is a high-profile designer to finally come out against fur. I know many designers are conflicted about fur, but are encouraged by the fashion system to include it in their collection as a luxury item. I believe there are other ways to create luxury without hurting other sentient beings.
What shelters do you work with closely?
I volunteer at the Yonkers shelter outside of the city once a week, and I also try to help independent rescue groups which are pulling dogs and cats from the euthanasia list at the city shelter.
What has adopting animals meant to your life?
When I adopted my three-legged dog, Tiny Tim, it changed my life. Animals can teach us so much; helping a homeless pet is a very powerful experience.
Any tips for somebody thinking of adopting?
Be realistic and understand that this is a lifetime commitment.
What was your first pet?
My first dog as an adult was Sweetie, who we found upstate on the side of the road. She ended up penning a column for ELLE and writing her own book, Sweetie: From the Gutter to The Runway.
What’s your favorite famous animal?
Esther the Pig. Check out her website estherthewonderpig.com
Finally…What kind of dog would you be if you were one?
Probably a sexy pit bull.