Winters in North Italy are cold, and definitely colder than my middle eastern behind is used to. In Israel a 15 C winter is crazy. Europeans on the other hand, laugh and call that beach weather. Ever since moving here I have been freezing every winter, and the need for a good coat is as basic as the need for carbs (or hot chocolate).
I guess that’s why when my first European winter rolled around and I saw all the fur coats come out I was surprised. There’s just no need for them where I come from, unless you enjoy sweating in winter.
From full length coats, to hats to jacket linings. Young, old, moms and daughters – it feels like everyone around me is wearing fur.
But why is that? why is everybody still wearing a piece of clothing that is so debated?
We have developed so many new and amazing textiles and materials. So many that are warmer, stronger, more beautiful than fur. The absolute need for it is gone and all we have left now is vanity and the idea that it represents some kind of status (Examples range from Cruella de Vil to every Kardashian).
Yes, fur is beautiful and those coats can be totally gorgeous but at what cost?
The fur industry is one of the worst in regard to animal suffering. I won’t attach disturbing photos because a point can be made without them, but believe me it’s bad. Animals are raised in small cages where they can barely move, sanitation is non-existent, the amount of animals killed is astounding, and let’s not even talk about how the fur itself is “harvested” (just that word is chilling).
The situation is so bad that even some in the fashion industry are starting to back out. Old school designers like Armani have stopped using fur and Stella McCartney has never used it. Also, earlier this year a UK fashion editor for Cosmopolitan slammed a fur company for even approaching her about an editorial.
There is just so much information everywhere. How is it possible to still turn a blind eye or say “I don’t care”?
Thing is though, from what I’ve read while researching this, is that the narrative is changing. Furriers are passing off their products as “ethical” and are targeting the younger market. They are being helped by celebrities, fashionistas and designers who are making it cool again. Once thought of as cruel and old like something your grandma would wear, is now colourful, fun and responsible.
Fur associations worldwide have re-branded and are now using disturbing slogans like – Fur, the Natural, Responsible choice (FICA). O’really? Responsible is it? Are the animals just scurrying around in the forest and happily giving themselves to good natured hunters while being gently put to sleep by fairies? oh they aren’t? well then what’s responsible about it?
The message is problematic and the fact that people are falling for it is worse. The rise is fur sales shows that consumers are believing the misinformation, or at least willing to turn a blind eye. The public is being convinced they aren’t making a bad choice. You know what this reminds me of? McDonalds before Super Size Me. No one believed McDonalds was causing any harm because of the advertising. But let’s see you tell someone today a double Mac is actually healthy.
Look, I’m not saying go out and splash paint on every fur wearer or deny yourself of fashion. But next time you or someone around you thinks about buying a fur – just give it second. Try to find a faux fur option first or just go for something else completely. There is no excuse for this, the abuse is just too much. Be better, it’s easy.