Monday, 3 December 2012

Fur


In the fashion industry, fur is a controversial issue. On a couple of our recent own clothes days at school I’ve worn a faux fur coat (a Dalmatian one when I was dressed as Cruella de Vil and my teal one last Friday.) Both times I’ve had several people come up to me a stroke it then proceed to ask whether the fur is real. I’m slightly shocked that they even need to ask this. Today, the wearing of real animal fur is generally frowned upon. I find real fur a little gross. I mean, I hate the thought of someone parading around wearing my skin; even in the name of fashion that is too far.

Yet, whenever I think about the morals and ethics behind fur there is always that little voice in the back of my head reminding me of what less people know; the production of faux fur is actually terribly bad for the environment. It uses non renewable petroleum based products. Therefore, these animals that are frequently slaughtered for the human lust for their fur might not have anywhere to live in the future.

So maybe we shouldn’t wear fur of any kind. Shudder. I never liked fur coats (faux or not) until a couple of years ago. I thought they looked a bit tacky. As a tweenager I would have always either looked like a little girl wearing a cute pink or white fur coat or like I was trying to be too grown up in a somewhat more sophisticated coat with a large collar in a beige hue perhaps. Last year though saw animal prints become a big thing once more. What shop hasn’t sold anything leopard print over the past two years? These prints can be transferred onto big fluffy faux fur coats. Then this season it’s all about colour. It really is a big catwalk trend that has made an ever so brisk transition onto the high street.
Anna Wintour always takes credit for re-popularising fur. Animal rights activists hate her and she has been physically attacked by such groups on a number of occasions. PETA refuse to accept that faux fur is overall worse for the environment than the real thing.

In the early 20th century real fur was real luxury; a status thing. Like one might now carry round a logo covered Louis Vuitton handbag, women would save their pennies and shillings and all the different currency they had in those days for a fur stole. As real fur was as popular around that time as faux fur is now, some people are trying vintage real fur because an animal has not recently been killed for it; it was dead years ago. Although this seems like a convincing argument I think that there are some things wrong with it. Whenever you buy real fur or even a piece of meat the animal is already dead so not buying it, wearing it or eating it will not bring it back to life. However, what is the point in wearing vintage fur and saying that it is less cruel than wearing fur from the back of an animal that was killed more recently?

Faux fur is not merely limited to the high street. Many luxury catwalk brands including Chanel have used it in their collections. In the past thirty years real fur has received such a stigma in the press that everyone has rushed to make sure they are wearing faux. Just because we are not as high profile as Anna Wintour does not mean that by wearing real fur we will not collect just as big a band of haters.

I am on the post with this debate but, for now though, I will stick with faux. Because what if real fur gets smelly? And it’s too much hassle to have to explain your way out of the reasons why you wear real instead of faux. You can’t just be like ‘yeah, it’s real, but...’ because the person who asked would already be judging you. And I like animals. I’m not much of an animal person but, you know, they’re alright and really cute to look at. However, let’s end with this; it is not frowned upon to wear real leather.
What are your views on fur?

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