What's behind the rise of real fur entering fast fashion?
What's behind the rise of real fur entering fast fashion?In 1994 Emma Sjoberg, Tatjana Patitz, Heather Stewart Whyte, Fabienne Terwinghe and Naomi Campbell posed in an anti-fur campaign poster for Peta. "We'd rather go naked than wear fur."Photo credit Rex FeaturesPeta's has over the years accumulated many celebrity supporters to participate in their campaigns. It has certainly had an effect on making people stop and think about society's treatment of animals. Designer and actor Sadie Frost is one such example. She took time from her hectic schedule to pose nude for our "Turn Your Back on Fur" ad campaign. "I don't use fur in my collections." At the time Sadie remarked "It's disgusting and it reminds me of death and blood."So why today in 2017 are we seeing the rise of real fur?It's not that PETA's work has not made a difference. It has and continues to. Getting celebrities on board has certainly over the years made more people aware and rethink the consequences of their choices. As a result the fashion industry still demanded fur, but as supplies of faux fur improved and looked just as good as the real thing, faux fur became the leader and satisfied our appetite for a fur alternative but with a conscious. This has seen the rise of fur trim on our clothing. Fur pompoms adorn our bags, on hats and shoes even. Faux fur in fashion seems to have taken root.Now what has changed is that the countries who supply the fashion industry with billions of fur garments, can now acquire the real fur cheaper than faux fur. The fashion supply chain is driven predominantly by profit and profit alone. There are some exceptions but it's fair to say it all comes down to who can make the most money. China is by far the biggest supplier to this industry now, and it is no secret money drives them more than whether an animal suffers for their quest to gain wealth.There is virtually no welfare standards in Asia. Battery farming is rife. Some farms house up to 10,000 animals in tiny wire cages. Fur can be produced for a pittance from foxes, mink and rabbits. Some countries take real fur from raccoon dogs. A wild animal resembling a fluffy raccoon. A 70 cm strip of raccoon dog fur, enough to trim a hood, can be bought for a pound. Shocking...Recent examples of real fur being used have been highlighted in the press and in some very high profile stores and online retailers. Many have taken steps to ensure this doesn't happen again.When faux fur looks incredibly like real fur and consumers find it tough to distinguish the difference, how can we be sure we are not wearing an animal?
- Real fur is attached to what looks like suede. Faux fur is stitched to a piece of fabric. If in doubt part the fur and you will be able to tell.
- Look carefully at the ends. If it tapers it is probably real fur. Blunt cut indicates faux fur.
- Rub the fibres between your thumb and forefinger. If they seem to move in one direction it's likely to be animal fibre.
With real fur now so cheap animal lovers, vegans and vegetarians may find themselves unwittingly buying into the fur trade, which they abhor. The only way we can stop the killing of innocent creatures is to stop the demand. That can only come if WE the consumers stop the demand. If everyone who reads this and spreads the word to stop buying real fur, we can all help secure the future of innocent animals who have no voice.