STRIKING A DEAL: After what People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has said was a 10-year effort, the PVH Corp. has agreed to stop using exotic animal skins.

The parent company of Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein indicated that the decision is part of a long-term strategy to drive fashion forward, according to the animal rights activist group.

Asked for comment about the company’s decision, a PVH spokeswoman released a company statement Thursday that read, “PVH and its brands do not use exotic skins and we will be adding them to the banned list in our animal welfare policy, when our annual update of that policy is released.”

The company’s decision follows discussions with both brands about the wildlife trade’s reported connection to epidemics and pandemics, according to PETA.

PETA thanked executives at the company by sending them a box of gourmet vegan chocolates, according to a PETA spokeswoman.

Hilfiger said in a statement provided by PETA, “At Tommy Hilfiger, we’re committed to creating a better fashion industry by creating fashion that ‘Wastes Nothing and Welcomes All.’ We have always and will always take the environment, human rights, our community and related matters very seriously, which is why we don’t use fur or exotic skins in any of our collections. Together, we can drive fashion forward.”

PETA is “toasting” Tommy Hilfiger for his decision, according to the group’s senior vice president Dan Mathews.

However celebratory PETA was in announcing the PVH ban, the range of Tommy Hilfiger merchandise made from crocodile skin, snakeskin and other exotic skins has historically been fairly minimal.

By banning the use of exotic skins, PVH joins the ranks of Brooks Brothers, Jil Sander, Chanel, Diane von Furstenberg, Hugo Boss, Victoria Beckham and Vivienne Westwood.

After years of lobbying designers to stop using fur — and convincing a good number of them to do so, PETA has ramped up its efforts to add alpaca, mohair and other animal-made fibers. In June, Uniqlo said it would stop using alpaca in its collections, joining others like Marks & Spencer, the H&M Group, Esprit, Overstock and Gap Inc. Alpaca is said to be the second-most environmentally damaging material, according to the Higgs Materials Sustainability Index. Uniqlo had already agreed to not use mohair.

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