Move over snakeskin and crocodile leather, there’s a new fashion trend in town, and it croaks!
Australian Artist and Designer, Lia Tabrah, has teamed up with Stylist and Model, Perina Drummond, to launch Vermin The Label; an unorthodox fashion brand that transforms cane toad leather into luxury accessories.
The dynamic duo recently visited Thursday Island (TI) to humanely hunt and harvest TI’s most unwanted amphibians. Employing a team of junior toad busters, Lia and Perina scoured our streets and took pest eradication into their own gloved-hands.
Amassing over 200 cane toads in just a couple of nights, Lia and Perina will now be able to custom make a line of high-end Vermin pieces, including handbags, purses and clutches.
Vermin’s current product range comes in an assortment of vibrant and playful colours, adorned with chrome and gold-plated embellishments.
The brand has already sparked interest and an online following with a feature in the 2019 Eat the Problem Exhibition’s pop up shop, hosted at the ever-provocative MONA Museum in Tasmania.
Lia and Perina have a line up of toad projects already underway for 2020 and they hope to revisit TI later this year. This time, they wish to work with the community and local organisations to collect more cane toad leather and raise awareness about the environmental impacts that these pests have in our region.
The alarming cane toad population on TI is a major environmental risk to Torres Strait’s biodiversity and native plant species.
Cane toads were originally introduced into Australia in 1935 to control the scarab beetles that were destroying sugar cane crops. Today, cane toads over-populate mainland towns and have infiltrated remote communities, including TI.
Like many locals, I find cane toads repulsive, and being near one can send shivers down my spine. So, it’s refreshing to learn that Lia and Perina can turn these icky pests into runway-worthy accessories.
Vermin The Label is a creative venture that’s environmentally sustainable, supports pest management and has the potential for global domination.
Just imagine, one-day TI toads could grace the runways of Melbourne or New York Fashion Week and be held in the arms of famous celebrities. Toadily deadly fashion in the global scene!