Style on Trial: Faux Fur

Faux_fur

From the very brief look we’ve taken at the Fall 08 collections so far, it’s already clear that there’s going to be a fair old amount of faux fur around this winter. And now we want to know what you think of it.

So far, we’ve had comments both for and against faux fur, when we’ve shown you photos of it. On our New Look preview, for instance, Zoe described it as “Ugly, boxy, and glamorizing real fur. Yeugh.”

On our Miss Selfridge preview, meanwhile, Gokarm commented: “To me, it has a historical relevance…nearly every civilization in the history of mankind has worn fur, so obviously there is an aesthetic attraction between humans and fur. Thank God we live in an age when we can be cruelty free and still feel that connection to our roots.”

So, let’s put it up On Trial

For ourselves, while we can totally understand where Zoe is coming from, it’s Gokarm’s point of view we identify with the most. The thing is, while we don’t wear real fur for ethical reasons, we’re going to put our hands up here and admit that we do appreciate the look of faux fur (or some of it, anyway), and tend to view it as a cruelty-free way to wear a look we like.

Does this glamorize real fur? We don’t really think so, but with that said, we’re aware that we’re a lot less likely to wear faux fur these days than we were even a few years ago, because the whole issue has become such an ethical minefield that we’re no longer sure what to think.

20 Comments

  • August 6, 2008

    Veronika

    LOVE IT!!!!

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  • August 6, 2008

    Jazz

    I don’t think it’s so bad. Sometimes it’s really horribly ugly, but, like in the pic above, it can be quite stylish.

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  • August 6, 2008

    Am

    Well, I wasn’t going to post until I read your ‘note’.
    I actually own two beautiful real fur coats.
    Before anyone cuts my head off and sends off to PETA let me just explain.
    The first one belonged to my Great Grandmother and is probably about 80 years old (she was a super glamorous jazz singer) I have never worn it.
    The other one I brought in a charity shop (mainly to annoy my sister who was going through her vegan stage). It is the warmest coat I own.
    I do think the fur trade is cruel, but my argument, is this: I brought the coat in a CHARITY shop, my money did not go to the fur trade, it went to cancer research.
    I haven’t worn the coat for several years, mainly because my sister said that nobody would know that it was a charity shop brought coat, and not a brand new one, and therefore glamorised fur. This argument I can totally go along with.
    So, I guess I do think Zoe’s argument makes a lot of sense – Faux fur does glamorise real fur. So, I guess I wouldn’t buy fur again, Faux or Real – even from a charity shop.

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    • March 11, 2010

      karla

      u dont think fur trade is mean wat if they skin u would u like that?

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  • August 6, 2008

    Kelly

    I think it can look good, and I think it is perfectly ethically OK to wear fake fur because it is fake. But for myself, I avoid it altogether because I don’t want my coat to be any cause of consternation by those who don’t realize it’s fake.

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  • August 6, 2008

    Kelly

    I think it can look good, and I think it is perfectly ethically OK to wear fake fur because it is fake. But for myself, I avoid it altogether because I don’t want my coat to be any cause of consternation by those who don’t realize it’s fake.

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  • August 6, 2008

    Julie

    I love it. Honestly, I’ll wear vintage real fur, too. The money goes to the thrift store, not the fur trade. Works for me.
    I’m very glad we live in a time (and place!) in which we can have the look without the blood on our hands, so I see no reason why we shouldn’t use that to its fullest potential. Go faux, go!

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  • August 6, 2008

    kkd

    The historical attraction to fur wasn’t aesthetic, it was based in survival. People needed to stay warm, and animal hide was the warmest thing they could use. It was based in necessity.
    Anyway, I don’t feel faux fur is glamorizing or promoting real fur. We’ve found a way to make something people obviously like in a way that is less harmful or offensive. It’s the look of fur, not the actual dead animal, that people are drawn too. I don’t see the harm in that.

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  • August 6, 2008

    Kuri

    Investing in real fur and leather (provided you intend to take care of it, get a timeless garment and make it last) is the most ethical choice. Having grown up in northern Canada, I know a number of responsible fur harvesters. It’s a more sustainable economic activity than many of the other manufacturing activities that produce fashion materials (such as petroleum based plastics and other polluting processes to create technical fabrics, polyesters and PVC). I always wonder why those concerned with ethics in fashion don’t further scrutinize the materials whose manufacture contributes to climate change, pollution and habitat destruction – in effect causing more deaths (and eventual extinctions) of fur-bearing animals than the fur industry could hope to achieve. Natural materials (plant and animal fibres along with fur) are in general less destructive than fake fur and other synthetic materials.
    In short, it’s probably more ethical to wear real fur than faux, provided the fur is sourced from an ethical company. With fur as with any garment, it’s more ethical to invest in timeless pieces that will last along time, go in many outfits and then to care for them well. You will pay dearly (very dearly, in fact) for ethically sourced fur. But then, if it’s a coat that will last 80 years (such as the one that Am talks about above) it’s a worthwhile investment.
    To make a comparison with meat-eating, wearing faux fur is like eating soy-infused junk food that clears whole rainforests for cultivation and elevates the presence of destructive environmental estrogens. Wearing locally-sourced, ethically produced fur is like buying grade A, free range, organically raised beef. The latter really is less bloody.

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  • August 7, 2008

    Janers

    I love faux fur, as long as it isn’t that monster “fun” fur (worn seriously) or a purse that looks like a pet. I love that it wasn’t alive once only to die for fashion’s sake. I personally don’t think vintage fur is a animal rights sin, but I also can’t bring myself to wear a dead animals skinned off hair cells…:( ew. It’s nasty in my mind despite the so-called glamour.
    High quality faux fur supplies the same look and soft feel. Plus that way I don’t risk wearing a cat a dog labled mink (which happens A LOT)…sadly. Not that a domestic animal’s life is more important, just closer?
    Anal electrocution and skinning alive videos did it for me. Watching a raccoon with no skin in a pile on top of others, writhing in pain & batting long lashes, still alive was too much, or the foxes having their skulls stomped in.
    I’m wearing faux for life.
    I can’t seem to justify anything else.

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  • August 7, 2008

    Paiton Goodwin

    I voted for “Other-I’ll tell you in my comment” and heres my coment: Faux fur is alright. It’s a great look for some people but I,m not one of them. Faux fur makes me look bigger than I really am. I’m not that fat but in faux fur I look like I am. However, I think that for the people that it looks good on it is a timeless look that makes you look hot and traditional at the sme time. And I for one think that is a very hard look to pull off hot AND traditional!!!! 🙂

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  • August 7, 2008

    The Fashion Police

    Thanks for the comments folks: it’s interesting to get your perspective on this because as I said, I do love the look of fake fur, but have been wearing it less, mostly for the reason cited by Kelly – even although I don’t really think the one fake fur jacket I own could really be mistaken for the real thing, I do worry about getting abuse from people who either think it IS real, or who think fake fur is just as bad as the real thing.
    Janers – those examples you give are just horrifying 🙁 Really, really disturbing fur.
    I think kkd’s comment probably best sums up how I feel about it personally, but always interested in hearing more opinions – it’s an interesting subject, so thanks again to everyone for the thoughtful responses.

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  • August 7, 2008

    Si

    I love real fur; fake fur takes hundreds of years to decompose so it is actually far worse for the environment than real. Having said that I have two fake fur coats from charity shops which I love and wear. I have about ten real fur coats as well as hats, scarves, gloves etc. For all you people saying how cruel it is, I really hope you are vegans, otherwise you are just a hypocrite.

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  • August 8, 2008

    M

    I’m a (straight) guy, and I don’t much like fur because I just don’t really like the way it looks.
    That said however, does anyone else find it ridiculous that you can’t wear what you want for fear of offending others? This thought came to me when reading some of the comments, in which people were saying they didn’t want to wear fake fur for fear of people thinking it was real.
    I didn’t read them all so I’m not sure if it was addressed or not, and I do not mean this as any sort of attack on anyone (even crazy PETA people). Just my $0.02

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  • August 8, 2008

    The Fashion Police

    M – if you’d seen some of the abusive comments we have to delete from this site every time this subject is raised, you’d perhaps understand why people worry about this. Some people have very extreme views on the subject, and while it’s one thing to read that kind of abuse on a computer screen, it would be quite another thing to have to deal with it face to face.

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  • August 9, 2008

    Marie Vahl

    I totally agree with Kuri.
    I live in Greenland, where people are as natural about death to wild animals as to animals living in a stall. If you eat meat, you kill animals. That’s pure fact, just because Brigitte Bardot was photographed with a baby seal doesn’t make fur more cruel to wild animals than a hamburger is.
    I understand why people won’t wear their fur in public, nobody wants to be abused, but it is a sad fact. What if we were all abused for eating meat in public?

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  • August 11, 2008

    M

    That’s exactly my point…I’m not saying all these people who want to wear it should just buck up and wear it, I’m saying I find it ridiculous that other people can be so…aggressive about their beliefs.
    I’m not saying I know how to fix it…it just makes me wonder sometimes.

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  • February 2, 2010

    Candice

    I grew up in and live in Central Alberta, I can’t fathom, with all the natural beauty and wildlife around how people can see a fox, or lynx, or raccoon, and just want to kill it. I read about how trappers love nature, so why do they want to kill the animals? I don’t know, it makes no sense to me, or breed wildlife in captivity, to kill them for their skins, when it is not a necessity, I just don’t understand how people say they love wildlife, and only want to kill it for money. How is that ethical? Sustainable ‘harvesting’ of skins of sentient beings? I think many are just used to it so they can’t see why people are so appalled. But some people just don’t care about the suffering of animals, they are just ‘products’ to a lot of people. I don’t know how you can call something that causes such suffering ‘ethical’.

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  • June 8, 2010

    Ellen

    Cruelty – Free? PLEASE! Tell me that after you’ve watched this video portraying the treatement and skinning and killing of the animals in fur farms. They are skinned alive. Is that cruelty free? I don’t think so.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_8Ko-9uKRs

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    • June 8, 2010

      The Fashion Police

      Umm, PLEASE. Faux fur isn’t real. It doesn’t come from animals. So, given that it’s not real, then no animals are skinned or killed to make it. Because it’s fake. Faux = fake. Understand? What do you think fake fur has to do with animals being skinned alive? Did you even bother to read the article, or think about it before leaving this comment or did you seriously think fake fur comes from animals?

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