Autumn will arrive soon and the colder the weather the more we see fur in the spot lights of fashion shows (according to the moto: “the colder the weather the warmer the mink”). And this year was not different.
Fur has never played any role in my life and it is something you will not find in my wardrobe. I grew up listening to my mom’s speach on how cruel it is to kill an animal just because it is beautiful – it was sometimes disturbing but I’m glad she did it.
In the country where I live, fur is seen as something grannies wear. So, young people usually go for faux fur… but how to make sure that your fur is faux, “faux sure”?
I remember that last year Marc Jacobs fans and animal rights activist were in shock to learn that MJ’s “faux fur” turned out to be racoon dog hair (it may be called just “hair”, but the animals are skinned alive). The truth is that he is not the only one to use animal hair as “faux fur”, some use even dog or cat skin to make full-length, short coats/jackets and fur-trimmed garments.
If you don’t wear fur or want to go fur free, learn how to tell the difference between real fur and faux-fur by watching this short clip:
Or follow PETA instructions:
Separate the fur and look at the base. Genuine fur usually protrudes from skin or leather, while faux fur generally has a mesh or threaded backing. If the backing looks like skin (which just makes it doubly gross!), don’t buy it.
Look at the tips of the hairs. Real animal hairs taper to a fine point unless they have been sheared or cut. Faux fur, on the other hand, typically does not taper at the ends. So if the ends of the hairs taper to a fine point, play it safe and leave it on the rack.
Do a burn test (obviously, this one’s only for things you already own). Remove a few hairs and hold them with tweezers over a nonflammable surface. Light them with a match or a lighter and let the smell do the talking. Burning animal hair smells like burning human hair. Fake fur, which is commonly made from acrylic or polyester, smells like melting plastic when burned.
If you, like me, don’t wear fur nor faux fur and want to support designer who have gone fur-free, check out who is on the list:
1. Calvin Klein: CK went fur free in 1994 due to PETA’s visit and quite huge protests. Mr. Klein then decided to sat with the animal activist group to watch a video about how the animals get killed to make fur. After that, he ended a 17 years fur licensing agreement and now only offers faux-fur.
2. Stella McCartney: She is my fave designer and I love her! A few years ago when I became a vegetarian, I started taking a better look before buying designer items and at this time I discovered Stella and her awesome eco-designs (she doesn’t use fur nor leather in her collections!). Her clothers are also made of organic fabrics!
“If you’re like me, you’ve sworn off fur because you know about the gruesome ways animals suffer and die for fur fashions. And what about leather? That’s something people don’t think about as much. Anyone who cares about animals or the environment should become informed consumers on this issue.”
3. Ralph Lauren: After meeting with PETA in 2006, Rauph Lauren have decided for his company to go fur-free. At the same year he decided to donate his autumn fur-trimmed coats to charities in developing nations:
“We feel that the time is right to take this action.”
4. Vivienne Westwood: Mrs. Westwood is also a designer I adore. I love her rebellious spirit, her ecletic style and taste. 2007, after speaking with PETA, she got rid of her last 8 rabbit-fur bags and gave the money to PETA Europe to donate to a wildlife sanctury which comfort orphaned animals.
5. Tommy Hilfiger: Hilfiger has a major influence in the fashion industry. He has shed fur from his company in 2007 and also started offering cruelty-free colognes -meaning that they are not tested on animals! He is also big on donating for the animal causes, especially Elephant Family (protects asian elephants).
OTHERS: Topshop, New Look, Selfridges, House of Fraser, Diesel and Zara.