Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fur Shizzle

This is just a short musing about fur and fashion. 

Fur is making a comeback, whether faux or real. Whether you like it or not. I am still hesitant on whether I should be wearing real fur. I do love the aesthetics of faux fur, but the tactile texture of fur is unlike anything! The fur trend looks incredible and conjures up the appearance of old-world glamour, wealth and attitude. As a fashion admirer, I my eyes and hands are drawn to the the allure of this fur trend; but my mind has second thoughts.

Is there a difference between using leather from an animal for fashion as opposed to fur? Are we being hypocritical for wearing leather shoes, sleeping under duck-down doonas but condemning fur in fashion?

My Vet friend, who is delightfully stylish, believes in not wearing fur because "you really don't have to since there are other ways to achieve the look." Some of the most popular fur items come from minxes, foxes, chinchillas, seals, lynxes, hamsters and rabbits. Many of these animals are farmed, killed when young for their soft fur in conditions that are reportedly inhumane. I understand that some 50 pelts are required to make one fur coat. I have not seen the inhumane treatment of animals myself myself, but I can imagine! 

Anna Wintour, Vogue's editor in Chief, is an adamant supporter of fur, a multi-million dollar fashion industry. For her support, she receives year-round abuse from PETA and other "anti-fur" individuals. Nowadays, the fur industry is hitting back, claiming that creating synthetic fur produces much carbon and toxic pollution and has harmful health risks to factory workers.

I sense a 180-degree change of heart from the 1990's "We'd rather go naked than wear fur" campaign with supermodels Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford and Elle McPherson posing nude for anti-fur advertisements. In 1990, PETA managed to un-glamorise the use of fur. In 2011, the fur industry, with the support of leading fashion designers and tabloids are re-glamorising fur. And it's flying off our shelves, whether faux or real.  

It seems to me that at this moment, an arbitrary decision by a leader in the fashion industry, with enough support from fashionistas and celebrities, has dictated the popularity of fur. I would hope that consumers are aware of the ethics behind the fur trend and actively consider it. 

Ruth Rosselson, spokesman for Ethical Consumer magazine makes a valid point, "In the end it very much depends on the consumer's own morals and what is important to them. "Synthetic clothing does have an environmental impact, but the fur trade is ultimately going to involve cruelty to animals in an age when it is no longer necessary to kill animals to keep us warm."


Personal Post-script:
After actively researching more on this topic myself, and I admit I have only skimmed the surface of the debate, my personal moral says I don't need to wear fur. Fur was originally worn for the practical use of warmth; now with climate change and the evolution in synthetic materials that can keep us warm, the use of fur for warmth is unnecessary. I don't want to sound hypocritical because I do eat meat, wear leather shoes and sleep under a duct-down doona, but I would prefer not to have fifty minx clinging to my back as I walk down the street in the name of "glamour."  

we have one vintage faux fur minx coat in the Winter collection. 


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