Who doesn’t love looking like a diva in some fur for the winter, but is that fuzzy statement really worth the cost? Your bootie pom poms and jacket hood linings came at the cost of an animals life and sustainable fashion should never be at the cost of another creatures life and well being.
Today we have the luxury of having faux or fake fur fabrics, but is it more ethical and sustainable or just as cruel as real fur ? stick around as this week we’ll discuss the difference between both faux and real fur clothing and the morality and sustainability between them both.
Fur has been in fashion since the dawn of time dating back to when man first stood upright. Animal furs are abundant, weather resistant and whether you want to admit it or not quite stylish and beautiful. The history of Canada was built on fur trade between Native Americans and settlers when the Hudson Bay Company was a small general store like fort. In the 1500s fur was a high quality, element resistant luxury textile and everyone from Europe to the new Americans wanted their hands on the newest styles. During the times of war and a less civilized world, designers were not thinking about sustainability when creating their garments. The process of harvesting, cleaning tanning and manufacturing an animal’s skin or hide is a lengthy process with a lot of chemicals and age old traditions involved. In the final product the fur is treated to never decompose, meaning that it will not be able to break down in a landfill either. Real animal fur fashion is also a cruel industry where innocent animals and raised and killed just for their bodies. Sustainability refers to your affect on the living creatures as well, the world will not have any more seal lions if everyone and their mother wants a pair of seal skin boots. Our desires can cost the extinction of entire species which will in a chain reaction affect ecosystems, local habitats and ultimately our quality of life.
The early 2000s brought us apple bottom jeans and boots with the FAKE fur ! both celebrities and fashionistas alike flocked to this new trend as it was vibrant, inexpensive and eco friendly … or so we thought. Yes these are no real animals harmed in the production of these garments, but that’s not to say they are the perfect solution to fur fashion. As you’d assume, faux fur is made out of plastics and other man-made, non-biodegradable materials. Meaning your fur vest from last season will sit in a landfill for longer than it spend on a retail rack, a lot longer. Faux fur can be dyed and cut in many different densities, textures and colours. Unlike organic animal fur, faux fur has more creative possibility in the design room making it more favourable. The benefits are a stand out with any vegan product but what our generation lacks is thinking about our future. Yes these bright, chemically corrected fur coats are beautiful but not enough to last more than 1000 years decomposing after it hits the scrap bin. It’s amazing that we’ve found a way to achieve fur fashion without any animals lives being threatened but we’ve turn the danger back on to our sleeves. The world loved faux fur and production of these governments increased and now you can find some version of faux fur in products such as shoes, clothing, bags, accessories and many more. Increased manufacturing means more energy wasted to produce such products.
Now the ultimate question, which is more sustainable? Well to be bias both materials are not sustainable at all! In fact the most sustainable choice you can make is to stay away from fur fashion entirely, but of course that’s not the answer you wanted. At the end of the day it’s a decision of morality, whether you’re okay with having products made from animals or not. If you do support cruelty free products faux fur coat is something that will last you a lifetime but it’s important to not buy in excess. Another innovative solution to this problem is to buy vintage fur, the ‘production’ has already been done and it would be a waste to not utilize such a grantment .The real lesson today is that everything in the world comes with a cost, will you compromise being eco friendly or make wiser decisions when shopping. Being sustainable means taking living creatures, ecosystems and all outcomes of your desionson into consideration when buying and supporting products. Buy responsible and remember, greed is never in fashion.
By: Veronica Alves