Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Vintage fur: to wear or not to wear

The fur debate is one that heats up every winter when we¹re looking for warm, beautiful things to wear. I¹ve made a point of never designing with leather and fur or selling these products in my stores. And of course, I¹m opposed to any form of animal cruelty. (How fantastic was the 4 Corners documentary that lead to the suspension of live cattle trade?)

While I find fur a beautiful thing, it¹s not something that I can justify using in my own designs. Interestingly, I overheard some the girls working in my studio talking the other day: one was wearing a white rabbit fur jacket, and she was trying to convince the other girl that the rabbits are shaved, not killed, for their fur. I had to laugh and said if that makes your decision easier, then go with it. I can appreciate the beauty of a soft fur jacket or scarf, but I can¹t justify creating them.

But for me the line does get blurry when it comes to vintage furs. My PA turned up to a shoot last week wearing a fox jacket bought at Vinnies for $80 ­ and she looked great. To me, it seems a shame to throw out something that an animal has already lost its life for, and is still very useful andŠ wellŠ gorgeous ‹that to me would feel wasteful, which flows into the whole Œuprecycling¹ argument. Surely we should continue to use things for as long as we can?

But, does the wearing of vintage fur coats continue to make them more fashionable, creating greater demand for the farming of animals for their skins? Or should vintage furs be worn and loved and recycled? While I continue to wrestle with this issue, I¹d love to hear your thoughts on the subjects?


  1. I recently saved a fur stole from my mother in-law, its a beautiful piece of clothing (a family heirloom) from the 30s that she would have just sold as she doesnt see the value in it.
    Personally i would never go out and buy a new piece of fur clothing but a vintage piece (any vintage clothing) has history and should continue to be loved. I am however nervous about wearing it out as i would hate for someone who dissaproves to take their views to the 'next step' and ruin something so special to me.

  2. In my opinion, it is better use and love an item than to shun it and toss it to the side. When it comes down to a gorgeous 1950's fox fur coat, it is such a shame to never let it see the light of day. It is quite awful what is done these day with animals (especially in the fur trade), but it is also apart of history and the fashions of yester-year. If all you can control is your own actions in life, then I would say wear the coat if you love it, but perhaps make it a point to never purchase a newly manufactured fur item. My grandmother's favorite coat was a fox fur one that she owned. Not only is it beautiful, but it is also full of memories of her and that's something I wouldn't throw away.

    Praise to you fleur for being an animal friendly designer, we can only make a change by doing the right thing today. That you are :)

  3. It is certainly true that it does not help the animal(s) in question not to buy a vintage fur. Not sure if their spirits disapprove :). But seriously speaking making fur a cool choice (vintage or not) will always create more demand so in my opinion it is better to stay away even from vintage fur.