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Saturday, 17 September 2011

Vintage fur: Is it acceptable?

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Wearing fur is a very heated subject but I've come to realise it's not such a black and white subject, what are your feelings on vintage fur?

People wear vintage fur because it screams winter glamour and traps heat in like nothing else does. It's also a great way to recycle an unwanted item, I would rather it was well loved and hanging in someone's wardrobe than in a landfill. The idea of simply throwing away your grandmother's old coat seems incredibly wasteful to me, I like the idea of recycling them. In a way appreciating fur is celebrating the beauty of nature and I resent the idea of an animal's life being taken in vain.

A vintage fur coat means buying secondhand which is better for the environment, possibly from a charity shop which can only be a good thing. You're also not buying your new Winter coat from a shop that may use sweatshops.

Instead of buying items with real fur I recommend buying vintage or unwanted fur coats. There isn't many vintage fur coats but it depends on the demand and how much the fur industry can produce in comparison. Wearing fur (real or fake) runs the risk of influencing other people and creating a higher demand, but I'm wondering whether the small amount of people who wear vintage fur could affect people significantly enough.

There will always be stigma behind wearing real fur, vintage or not. But I have to admit I'm glad I rarely hear about paint being thrown at those who wear fur, I never personally agreed with that tactic. When you wear vintage real fur you do risk getting abuse from certain people, there isn't a neon sign above your sign stating it's vintage.

I was raised with the motto of "fur is cruel" and I'm still quite shocked when I come across people who wear minks. Eeeek it has a head! I'm not even sure if I could wear vintage fur even though I support it, it's actually when I accidently touch the skin underneath. It's waxy and makes me cringe, but maybe I'll change my mind if I get the opportunity to try such luxury on. However I will always admire those who wear vintage fur and their guts for wearing these controversial pieces. But could I actually wear a vintage fur coat knowing the cruelty that probably occurred?

Fur is still full of grey areas so I would appreciate everyone's opinion on the matter, be polite and form your opinion well. If I think it's too drama-rific I won't approve your comment. But other than that, go forth and rebuttal!

10 comments:

Ashlee said...

You don't have to choose between wearing your furs or letting them rot in a landfill. A lot of wild animal type places like them as beds for young animals.

Personally, I love the look of fur, but I couldn't wear the real thing, even vintage.

Julietslace said...

Yeah I've heard about that, someone once told me they use the fur to create a surrogate mum for abandoned animals. Like a fuzzy hot bottle. But I don't really know much about it so I didn't include it :)

Must research it!

AislingChild said...

I don't personally agree with killing animals for their fur on it's own. However, if the fur is from an animal who was killed for food as well, I think this is quite good as it means you're not wasting it. I do realise though that most fur is from animals humans don't really eat. It basically boils down to my belief that we should stop wasting so much of the animals we kill, and we should be less fussy about what animals we eat (that said, the idea of eating rat is...eugh).

Julietslace said...

I think the reason why we rarely use fur from animals we eat is because...well who eats bear and fox for dinner?

Mmmm rats ;)

Xanthy said...

I've actually been thinking this all weekend, since I was wearing some vintage fur today (as part of a medieval outfit)...
I don't mind it too much if it's vintage - only the second-hand shop and/or the previous owner is going to make anything off of it, and the people who killed the animal don't get a penny (which isn't exactly an incentive to kill more animals for money).

When it comes to new fur, I tend to put it into two categories:

BAD: big soulless companies who abuse lots of small defenseless animals. Killing them specifically for their fur, on a relatively large scale.

OK: small companies. Usually, these are people who do everything by hand using traditional methods (often for re-enactment groups and such), using animals that were also eaten (sheep, for example) or were already sick/dead. They usually don't make too much.
Yes, I have talked to some people from the latter group. Most of them love what they do and are very careful about where their fur comes from.

Stefanie said...

I must admit I just don't like fur in general. Real or fake I personally don't like the feel of fur unless it's on a warm breathing animal. I don't even like the way it looks in clothing form.

But I think if people are going to wear fur it should be ethically sourced from an animal that either died of natural causes (e.g. old age) or as a by-product of animals that are eaten.

Julietslace said...

@ Stefanie, I daren't touch them in case I can feel the skin underneath. The waxy feel just really makes me cringe!

@ Xanthy, I know someone that had a sheep coat and she looked so like a sheep that it freaked me out. Sounds stupid but when she was walking towards me from a distance I honestly thought she was a sheep, it terrified me.

There's a company that uses furs for theater costumes :) Apparently they use a mixture of donated fur and old fur from things like pillows.

muninandhugin said...

I have only two types of fur, and will only buy those two types. The kind Xanthy mentioned, from individuals who do reenactment stuff like Mountain Men Rendezvous, where all the money goes to the individual who did all the work. Or the vintage items either passed down from family members or bought from Etsy boutiques online. I generally don't wear them often, the possibility for abuse without being allowed to explain it's vintage is a big part of that.

Designer Diva said...

I got one of my grandmothers fur collars in high school. It sat for years, but one day I realized it was meant to be worn! I have a few real and faux fur collars and accessories I wear in the winter. They do help me stay amazingly warm without large cover ups over my outfits!

I also inherited a mutton, or sheepskin coat, but I don't think sheep skin counts as they are raised for food and the skins are a by-product, unlike other animals that are raised for their skins alone.

Julietslace said...

@ Designer Diva, some people don't realise how well fur traps in heat. In one of my coats I have fake sheepskin inside and it's so warm that I can't wear it until it's well and truly Winter.

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