Should You Wear Vintage or Faux Fur?
Fur is beautiful, but surely it looks better on the animal.
In the 90's real fur was viewed as an unacceptable material to be used in the making of garments. The 'I would rather go naked then wear fur' campaign was backed by prominent models, designers in the fashion industry as well as singers actors and other recognizable personalities in the public eye. The anti-fur campaign was very successful and in my personal opinion a very well managed and influential one.
However over the last few years many of the familiar faces that fronted the campaign, seem to have forgotten their principles on fur and have been seen wearing furry clothes again, real fur. The celebrity mind does seem to be a fickle one generally, but surely this is a mind change that does seem to be a suspicious one and I don't know about you but it makes me wonder if they had any genuine or personal support for the cause initially. I hope the actions of these people don't undo all the good work that the campaign did and I hope the next generation don't come to the conclusion that wearing fur or purchasing fur products is acceptable.
PETA (people for the ethical treatment of animals), have made many a protest against the use of fur in fashion, some of which were made on the actual catwalk itself, much to the horror of the designers!
Since the anti-fur movement started people have been giving their old fur coats away to this organization as a personal commitment not to ware fur. PETA have implemented an excellent use for all the old fur coats that have been donated to them, and thats to give them to the homeless, who are often ill and freezing out on the streets.
The states adopted a similar scheme too where refugees were also given unwanted fur coats.
Fake fur when made well looks and feels not to dissimilar from the real thing, it is easier to clean then the real thing, is cheaper and best of all no animals are killed to make it. Always check labels, it should inform you if the item is made from man made materials or is in fact actual animal fur.
It is worth noting that sometimes items are deliberately labelled wrong or not labelled at all. If you think that it is real or your not entirely sure then it's best to leave it.
Buying furry products online can be a problem however if you have been mislead when selling something you usually have the right to return it, you can also report the seller to the trading standards commision who can investigate and stop them.
Although the creation of faux fur does not come at the price of an animals life it still has adverse consequences.
The manufacturing of a faux fur coat still requires the use of toxic chemicals and creates pollution through the release of nitrous oxide. Around 30 per cent of a barrel of oil is used in the process of producing a standard faux fur coat, because they are usually made from nylon.
The latest luxury fashion trend that is threatening already endangered Tibetan antelopes, is the shatoosh shawl. There are only around 75,000 of these creatures left on the planet, and if this trend continues then numbers will inevitably dwindle further. The antelopes are killed because of their soft, fine wool which is plucked from the antelope corpse's not Shawn like Pashmina is.
Real vintage fur.
The manufacturing of real fur coats also damages the planet as it uses chemicals such as chromium and carcinogenic formaldehyde.
You could argue that real fur is technically a product from nature, but with all the energy that is used to make a fur garment, as well as all the preserving ingredients required, as well as the fact that animals are caged and killed, it is not exactly as nature intended.
One advantage to wearing vintage fur garments is that because of it's age it is probably of better quality. Older items in general were also made to last longer then things are now, so you will probably get more ware out of vintage fur garments then new faux fur.
Fur has been a fashion favorite and popular with the wealthier individuals for many years, however all that is now beginning to change. Globally we are becoming more conscious of the effects that our actions have on the world.
The majority of realfur is made from many pelts sown, glued or fastened together. Fur farms are still the reality that provides fashion houses, factories and designers with the precious skin of dead animals that they desire for their attire. The animals that are subjected to these farms are often held in appalling conditions and mistreated.
Did you know that you can now buy real fur coats that are made out of recycled pelts?
So which is best?
The honest truth is that vintage and faux fur are both equally pretty bad offenders, and there is not really a 'good' choice between either of them. However if you still really do want to ware fur, why don't you try vintage faux fur? As this is the option that will have had the least impact on wild animals, nature and the planet.
Did you know?
- The average sized coat made out of chinchilla fur, takes over 100 of the little critters to make.
- Animals are still being bred on fur farms even today and up to 40 million animals are killed in these places every year.
- The killing of young seal pups has been banned, however illegal clubbing activities still happen, it is estimated that over 100,000 are still killed annually.
- Although the practice is being phased out in many parts of China, due to a drop in demand cats and dogs are still being skinned alive for there fur, over a million of them.
- Its not just clothes that are produced using animal fur, but also some cuddly toys, shoes, slippers, hats and trim on bags and boots.
The most effective way to stop the continuation of fur related goods being manufactured is to stop buying it. The companies will have to change their working practice if they don,t continue to make profits. Even though many high profile names have abandoned their support for the anti-fur campaigns, the good news is that many of the people who backed it originally still do and you can too.
How can you help the anti-fur campaign?
There are many on-line petitions that you can sign to show your support and you can send your friends requests too so that they can get involved in helping the issue. You can write to the government, or even your local MP.
Share what you know with your friends and family, in the workplace or your school. What about making your own posters or leaflets and handing them out. What about starting your own facebook page, website or youtube video? You can even write about it, like I did. However you spread the word or do you bit, remember that every little helps and small numbers can become great numbers in relatively short periods of time especially if the movement goes viral. Even by reading this article you have shown support for anti-fur so thank-you and well done.
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