Leonardo DiCaprio is First “Best Foot Forward” Awardee for Kickstarting Vegan Shoe Business

For Immediate Release:
August 1, 2023

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Los Angeles

A first-of-its-kind “Best Foot Forward” award from PETA is on its way to Leonardo DiCaprio in recognition of the actor’s planet- and animal-friendly investments, including $4.5 million in vegan footwear company LØCI, which crafts sneakers from bamboo, recycled plastic bottles, and other animal-free materials.

“By investing in vegan LØCI footwear, lab-grown leather, and multiple mock-meat startups, Leonardo DiCaprio is helping to kickstart innovative solutions for the climate catastrophe and alleviating mass animal suffering,” says PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “In thanks for investing in a habitable planet for all beings, PETA is awarding this celebrated actor our very first ‘Best Foot Forward’ award.”

Animal agriculture—which includes the leather industry, a major part of meat and dairy profit margins—is responsible for nearly one-fifth of all human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. The World Bank reports that cattle ranching has caused over 80% of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest since 1970, and because of fires—many of which are deliberately set to clear land to raise cows and grow crops to feed them—along with hotter temperatures and droughts, parts of the Amazon are now emitting more carbon dioxide than they can absorb.

In addition, turning skin into leather requires significant energy and dangerous chemicals, including formaldehyde, coal-tar derivatives, and cyanide-based oils, dyes, and finishes. Sustainable vegan leather made from apples, cork, corn, grapes, mushrooms, paper, pineapples, soy, or tea mimics the properties of leather without the cruelty to animals or environmental devastation.

DiCaprio joins a long list of celebrities—including James Cromwell, Jennifer Coolidge, and Jordan Peele—who have won PETA awards for their kindness to animals.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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