The Fear to Fur

To Kill or not to Kill – That is the Question

By Camille Internoscia

Who doesn’t love the soft feel of a beautiful pelt gently tickling your skin? Nobody can deny that it’s the best, warm, cuddly, amazing sensation ever and our favorite fashion go-to. But if you think about the fur making process, and all of it happening for your own luxury, it makes you wonder if you should listen to your ethics and maybe give faux fur a try. But it doesn’t look or feel as good as the real thing. So what team are you on? This taboo question needs some guidance. Plus, this fall, fur is everywhere. So let’s debate. Whether it’s real skin or fake hair, blue, yellow or natural, we can’t deny its notoriety and the one question on our mind is: Should we go real or faux?

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A VINTAGE FEEL

We have been using fur as clothing for as long as the humankind has existed. It’s like a natural instinct for us to wear animal skin. Before, it was to protect the bodies from extreme temperatures or as a symbol of power, but now the need is more superficial. In the 80’s people started to question the ethics behind fur. Animal cruelty became a subject of protest and movements and groups like PETA started to emerge. As a result, we found a new, less questionable alternative: fake fur. Fur screams strength, power and courage. How do we translate this in the fashion world? It means you’re above it all, and not afraid to be bold and extravagant. Is faux fur less of a bold statement (if you can spot it, that is)? Dressing ourselves with clothing is not about surviving in the cold anymore. We want to express ourselves, show our true colors. Does fur help with that? And what does it say about who you are? Real or faux, does it really change anything?

A FURRY INVESTMENT

Fur is an investment. That’s why we usually see these amazing coats as heirlooms in many families. Animal skin has such a high value and is well respected, so we can’t just toss it away. Fur can last for a long period of time if it’s given love and proper care. It always remains the same, it is always in trend, and it holds its value. Right now, we are eating, breathing and sleeping for vintage garments, so it’s the perfect time to throw on your aunt’s old fur coat. A real fur coat can cost thousands of dollars, so make sure you save it for the next generations.

SPOT THE FAUX FROM THE FUR

This fall, fur is everywhere. But look closely: can you distinguish the faux from the fur? The first step is to check the label or the name of the brand – some are obvious and you will see the constitution of the garment. The next step is to check the price, because real fur is usually very expensive. The better the artisanship behind faux fur, the more it’ll cost you, but it’ll never come close to the real thing. The third step is to feel it in your hands. Fur tends to feel very soft, falls in smooth and sleek line, while faux fur has a coarser feel and is rough to touch, a little bit like a stuffed animal.

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POLLUTION VS CRUELTY

Fur is indeed a type of murder whether we like to admit it or not. Technically, we are against it because it’s cruel, but do we really know how the faux fur is manufactured? It’s made with non-biodegradable, chemical based synthetics. Is the debate here to save the animals, or to save our planet? Faux is made from non-renewable petroleum based products such as nylon, acrylic and polyester that are then treated with heat and chemicals. With the increase in fast fashion and shorter garment lifespans, all those fake, trendy furs end up in the trash after a couple of seasons and take over 1000 years to decompose. On the other hand, true fur biodegrades within a year and can even be composted. The real problem with fur is the way the animals are treated, and in response many furriers prefer trapping wild animals and killing them humanely instead of using factory-farm abattoirs.

DARE TO FUR

Whether you are pro or anti-fur, it’s everywhere this season. For the coats, think statement. We want them big, bold and all over the place. This fall, the designers went with crazy colors and prints (think Gucci and its pepto-pink). Audacity is the word to describe the fur this season. If you are ever scared to rock one of those masterpieces, you can always opt for furry accessories: fur cross-body stoles draped asymmetrically, gloves, bags and even hats (pompoms!). After a summer of 90’s minimalism, it’s time to get out there and welcome a fresh wave of explosive silhouettes and colors.

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