Let’s talk about the use of fur in the fashion industry
Gucci has vowed to stop using fur in 2018 - sourced from Getty images
Fashion houses have been using real animal fur to style-up their clothes for over a century, but does fur really have a place in fashion anymore? The answer should irrefutably be no and that it never should have had a place in the industry, but as no finite consensus has ever been reached, the use and exploitation of animals as merely a product of fashion remains rife.
Sadly, we live in such a consumeristic society that thinks it’s completely acceptable to wear living beings as apparel. Are people oblivious to the fact that over 50 million animals are savagely massacred every year just to contribute to their wardrobe? As they say, ignorance is bliss, but for those who are aware and still choose to adorn these helpless living creatures, who have no say in the matter, then shame on you. Does anyone seriously not stop to think that using animal skins/fur in fashion is completely redundant, barbaric and prehistoric? It’s not as if there aren’t plenty of other alternatives that mimic the high quality and ‘luxuriousness’ of fur, and not just that – there are plenty of practices that are significantly more ethical, merely by condemning the use of fur. We all may differ in opinions, but to me ensuring the welfare and life of a living soul is more important than thinking about how fluffy and warm and ‘fabulous’ my coat is going to be. Living an ignorant life of what is perceived to be luxury is just reinforcing materialistic attitudes that are so prevalent in today’s society, and rendering these poor animal’s lives as worthless, which they aren’t.
Is fur fair?
So what is the impact of using real animal fur? Animals are often confined to cages, sometimes for over eight months, or even for the rest of their lives. A lot of people won’t know, or will choose not to consider the fact that an immeasurable amount of anguish and distress will have gone into every animal-based item of clothing that they choose to wear. Millions of innocent rabbits, minks, foxes and other animals will be subject to horrific death that can consist of neck-breaking, carbon monoxide poisoning and anal electrocution, just to name a few. Some farmers have stated that they are aiming to improve the welfare of animals before they are killed for their fur, but animal rights contingencies have said that this is not enough. We need to be vociferous in taking a stand, and be mindful not to turn a blind eye to the sufferings of animals if that aim is to look good in the name of fashion.
Fur is often described as 'luxurious'
Why are so many retailers using fur as apparel? Simply because there is a demand for it. If people stopped buying fur altogether, the fur production industry would collapse and millions of these harmless creatures’ lives would be saved. We live in an age where technology is incredible and there are infinite possibilities, so do we really need to keep stealing the livelihoods of animals who can’t speak for themselves? What we need is a cruelty-free environment where education from an early age is key. Re-educating farmers is NOT good enough. We need to halt the exploitation of animals and put an end to their torturous misery,
Would you wear your cat?
There is absolutely nothing fashionable about draping yourself in the fur of an animal that went through a life of desolation and confinement, only to meet cruel end in excruciating pain – all to conform to society’s standards of vanity and materialism. Fur has nothing to do with ‘luxury’ – that term comes from people who have become desensitised to the plight of the animals and who are willing to turn a blind eye all to justify a means of ostentation.
There is a glimmer of hope on the horizon, as CEO Marco Bizzarri has pledged that fashion house Gucci will go fur-free in 2018. The luxury brand has promised to prioritise sustainability, and the remaining fur items will be auctioned. As what has been described as a ‘compassionate decision’, Marco Bizzarri stated that the proceeds from the auction will go to animal rights organisations. Going fur-free will no doubt create a domino effect throughout the rest of the industry, and hopefully soon other fashion creatives will make cruelty-free fashion an intrinsic part of their businesses. This decision follows fellow-Italian brand Armani’s decision to go cruelty-free in 2016. As Stella McCartney has also declared that high-end, luxury items CAN ultimately go hand-in-hand with cruelty-free fashion, so what’s stopping the rest of the industry from following suit?
What is the definitive answer? If we all think a bit more sympathetically and morally when making a purchase and condemn the use of fur – then we can take small steps in the right direction. Hopefully the future will be a fur-free one. Remember to think alternative, think ethical. You’ll be surprised at how beautiful the end product can be. Just take pride in the fact that you know you’re saving some poor innocent creature’s life. Say NO to fur.
What do you think?