As a vegetarian of many years, wearing the skin of an animal that suffered and died for my outfit doesn’t sit well with me. But there’s just nothing like the glamour that a fur coat lends to an outfit. So I’m delighted to see all the affordable and ethical options available these days.
There are of course, countless options at the low end of the price spectrum, but on the catwalks, the expectation of luxury and excess has meant the fur is almost always real. There have been some intriguing developments recently though. Karl Lagerfeld and Miuccia Prada have included fake furs in their collections. Stella McCartney, a staunch supporter of animal rights, famously released a collection of voluptuous fake furs in March last year.
In an interview on Broadly, McCartney has said that “working with the same material for thousands of years when it’s not environmentally friendly and it’s not needed, I think it’s really old fashioned”
However, for the ethical consumer, fake fur presents a conundrum. Many would argue that wearing fake-fur normalizes and celebrates real fur, and it should be avoided because it’s mimicking the effects of a cruel process. And who’s to say if I went out in one of my fake-fur coats, I wouldn’t get the same dirty looks that real fur would invite?
My view on these concerns is the same as my view on fake meat. I eat fake sausage rolls because, meat or no meat, sausage rolls are delicious. I can have an alternate version of a sausage roll that didn’t kill any animals, and that’s a wonderful thing.
The aesthetic or culinary approximation of meat or fur is, in my opinion, much less disturbing than the reality of killing animals for food or an outfit. I think any step away from fur in an industry as ruthless as high-end fashion is a very encouraging sign.
“Stella McCartney on Fake Fur, Rihanna, and Good-Fitting Bras” YouTube video, 10:07. Posted by “Broadly,” April 21 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KL3-BS7HBM
“Is Wearing Faux Fur a Faux Pas for Animal Lovers?” last modified Jan 29 2014, http://www.xojane.com/fashion/faux-fur-animal-rights
“Stella McCartney’s fake-fur coats are worlds away from the brutal fur trade” last modified 13 March 2015, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/13/stella-mccartney-fake-fur-coats-brutal-trade