Fur, like smoking, looks way cooler than it actually is.
Don’t worry, there are no horrifying PETA photos or vids in this post. I can’t even Google Image that shiz, I would cry for a week and TJ is already bored of hearing about my animal sensitivities (not to mention how worked up I get about this really tragic homeless man by our house with a hunchback). Look for the homeless hunchback post, coming soon to your favorite messed-up site.
Anyway, fur. I’m in a freezing cold climate now- like, deathly cold winters- and have been trying to find a stylish alternative to the North Face ugly-as-sin sleeping bagcoats everybody is telling me I have no choice but to get. (By the way, every person I’ve met for the past six months, thanks for telling me the winter will be cold and I’ll hate it- I hadn’t figured that out yet.) So, the standard trio of coats I hear I need are the North Face for the nuclear winter days, a wool coat for cold (but not THAT cold) days and “a cute fur for going out”. Could a coat textile be more glamorous than fur? Nobody looks as filthy rich as J.Lo in her chinchilla coat with her Jimmy Choos, and little mink coats just look so Mad Men. It’s awesome on collars of coats, trapper hats, as trim on everything. Fur just looks all-around fantastic, especially in winter climates like this.
Know why it looks so insane? Because it’s a beautiful pelt that came from a beautiful animal.
I had a few fur things for a while and basically just didn’t think twice about them. This was way back when I ate meat and stuff (In case you care, I eat fish now occasionally because my hair will fall out without ANY animal proteins). Fur didn’t bother me, because I didn’t think about it. Now, needless to say, my closet is fur-free, because I got edu-ma-cated enough to realize that I was being a total Cruella De Ville. When I think about it I start crying and TJ comes in the room and wonders WTF.
I gave all my fur to Goodwill, and am happy I did. Can’t have that stuff in my closet.
I think what really started upsetting me about fur is thinking about it in broader strokes. One fur coat in a vintage shop makes me sad because it was beautiful animals once, but think about all the big brands that sell fur in dozens (hundreds) of stores across the US. Imagine a bitchy Tory Burch buyer screaming “We’re low on the rabbit fur snow boots!”, some other person typing orders in a computer, more truckloads of leather and fur pelts being shipped in from god knows where. When you think about it in terms of HUGE amounts of fur, and how it is produced in farms, it’s just.plain.disgusting. More coats purchased means higher sales projections for the following year, obvi. There’s a brick on my heart.
Do you like these?
Think of these on a conveyor belt. Do you still like them?
My dog. Too close for comfort, if you ask me.
Also, bit of info for those of you who actually care, Obama just signed the Truth in Fur Labeling Act, which basically means all businesses need to declare if their garments contain fur right on the tags, sharing what kind of animal and country of origin. In the past, people were not required to do so unless the fur totaled more than $150, so people like me may have been accidentally buying real fur while thinking it was polyester or something. Sean Combs is behind it apparently, because he recently found out his line contained Raccoon Dog fur instead of “faux fur”, which was listed on the label. One more supporting detail: I guess people are all uproarious cause it was discovered that certain furs from China containing dog and cat fur were mislabeled and sold in the US. I say I guess because I’m wary of PETA links and was afraid to click the link.
So I guess what I’m asking: If you must have the look of fur, can’t you just give faux a shot? It’s not that bad, and awesome labels are cranking out stylish fauxs like you wouldn’t believe. Check here, here and here. Fine, it’s not as warm: put a stupid cardigan on underneath and stop complaining.
And if you still really think about it and want a fur, that used to be (many different) living animals, hug your dog while thinking about it for an extra five minutes. For me. Then decide if it is really worth it. OMG I am such a crunchy granola Oregonian. But it’s true! You’re basically wearing tears and pain, while looking totally narcissistic.
Now that we’ve decided to not perpetuate the fur industry (good choice!), we come to the topic of what to do with old/used/vintage/hand-me-down fur. Let’s not pretend, I know you have fur coats from your grandparents sitting in mothballs somewhere. It happened, it’s dead, it’s a sunk cost. Can’t be recovered. So I really can’t fault people for recycling something that just happened to be in their guest room closet and has been dead since 1968. I still think it’s gross, but we’re not doing damage the way we would be at Neiman Marcus. So I guess I wouldn’t throw red paint on you if you wore it and told me it was vintage. But if I’m being honest, giving it to a homeless hunchback person with no coat would probably be my first recommendation.