Why is the Fashion Industry Still So Obsessed With Fur?

by , 12/03/10   filed under: Animal Cruelty, The Big Idea

fur, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, animal cruelty, skin trade

Nothing heralds the advent of winter like the procession of bundled-up pedestrians buried in a avalanche of coats, hats, and scarves. But it turns out the real answer to staying warm is wrapping yourself in fur, according to Thursday’s AM New York Daily Chic Report, which featured a five-page spread devoted to “The Secrets of Fur! How Real? How Much? How Fabulous.” Total number of faux fur mentions: 1. Surprised? Us, not so much. Although we may believe we live in more enlightened times, one in five American women own a fur coat, according to the paper. And New Yorkers, in particular, are a driving force in the pro-fur movement—more so than anywhere else in the United States, in fact.

fur, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, animal cruelty, skin trade

Photo by echoforsberg


Elizabeth Olsen, designer of Olsenhaus, a line of vegan shoes, may be based in New York, but she thinks people are living in denial of what they’re wearing. “We don’t live in caves, write on cave walls, or rub sticks together to start a fire,” she tells Ecouterre. “We have evolved past that, we have heaters, drive cars, talk on cellphones and read books on electronic pads; so why are people  still walking around with hundreds of dead animals wrapped around their body like cave-people?”

And if you’re still unconvinced, check out these surprising fur facts from PETA and Born Free USA:

  • More than 50 million animals are violently killed for use in fashion every year.
  • Methods used to kill animals for their fur include gassing, electrocution, and neck-breaking.
  • Rabbit fur is often falsely identified as a byproduct of meat production. The truth is, few rabbit skins are obtained from slaughterhouses; they come from animals who are factory-farmed or trapped purely for fashion.
  • Cat and dog fur often enter the U.S. market undetected and sold as fur trim.
  • The United States is the fifth largest mink-producing country in the world, killing 3 million farm-raised minks annually for their pelts.
  • The amount of energy needed to produce a real fur coat from ranch-raised animal skins is approximately 20 times that needed to produce a fake fur garment. Also, the chemicals applied to the furs make them non-biodegradable.
  • The United Nations reports that at least 1 billion rabbits are killed each year for their fur, which is used in clothing, as lures for fly-fishing, and for trim on craft items.

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7 Responses to “Why is the Fashion Industry Still So Obsessed With Fur?”

  1. plish (@plish) says:

    Soft, and warm…
    Just like things that are smooth or shiny, sweet or smell good, fur elicits deeply rooted, primitive emotions of pleasure, safety and security.

    Any campaigns dealing with the use of fur must meet or over-ride these primitive emotions. Eliciting emotions of disgust, or intellectually appealing to people doesn’t seem to be doing the job.

  2. Fluffy Dasha says:

    It is because the ethical human beings are up against a multi-billion dollar savage enterprise. They can afford buying the media, politicians, fame hungry actors/actresses, models and anyone who do not care. It is a grossly unfair competition as we fight on a string budget while the fur industry does massive campaigns, lying through their teeth that fur animals don’t suffer, brainwashing people and so on. In fact, if people weren’t so brainwashed into believing that it’s glamorous to wear fur, they would dislike it because it is UNNATURAL to wear fur, it does not even look good on anyone other than the original owner. People look fat and outdated when wearing fur, and it gives the creeps knowing what a sentient being went through in the process. It is time that people wake up and see the beauty of life, not death. Check my site antifursociety.org – it has enough information here to educate people.

  3. leopdspots says:

    The money grabbing companies in the industry still want to make a killing from exploiting animals; and often give away large amounts of fur to (often poor) young, up and coming (student) fashion designers, enabling them to cover the costs of a material they can use. Without which, they’d not be able to make a collection, and send it down a cat walk.

  4. siebenspiegel says:

    that is a dirty power-hungry funds machine, and carrier inside have inferiority-complex. this kind of humans must be ashamed. pfui!!!

  5. stéphanie rossenu says:

    Fur is for animals, nothing is more vil to take their skin in such so cruel way, just for vanity

  6. Espavo says:

    Before one buys a fur, they should be required to view a video of an actual skinning of live animals, beatings, animals being grabbed by the back legs and swung over their heads bashing them into the ground, hung, stabbed in the groin and other various ways to cause pain and torture. These videos are out there on youtube. Key tag words, China, slaughter, cats, dogs. Then watch them die in a pile of animals who’s fate was the same, skinless, beaten and alive.

    Canada perpetuates this insane cruelty by having our labeling laws preclude restrictions of fur and leather. You do not know what you are buying and the Canadian Government refuses to change our animal abuse laws which are 130 years old or our labeling laws. All for the money.

  7. live nature says:

    Interesting, guess we should stop raising chickens, cows, beefs, pigs, and just eat vegetables ….oups ….. they are alive too !!! oups ….. live from love and water ….oups …. water is contaminated …. well we are left with love !!!!!….. better start loving one another if this is what we are left to live on !

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