The UK Independent is running an article titled “Can Wearing Fur Be Guilt-Free?” and highlighting efforts by a Japanese designer and furrier, Chie Imai, to pair animal skins with sustainable fashion. She has dubbed her fall collection of fur-trimmed capes and boleros as “Eco Harmony”. Problem is, this isn’t a faux-fur affair — but skins from chinchilla and mink. The green catch is that the dead are added to recycled polyester to create a type of Frankenstein eco-outcome. “Tying ecology with fur is such a fascinating concept,” says Imai. “Fur can be worn for generations, is organic, causes no pollution, and returns to the earth.”
We could not disagree more.
Thankfully, The Independent has excellent commentary from Justin Kerswell, campaigns manager for Viva! (Vegetarians International Voice for Animals). With regards to fur being thought of as “green”, Kerswell says, “A cocktail of chemicals is used to treat fur, and animals have to be fed and transported. There is a massive energy consumption and other waste associated with the industry. In the US, fur farms generate tens of thousands of tons of waste, including slurry, bedding and animal corpses. Farmed fur needs 20 times the energy needed to produce faux-fur.”
The article also highlights instances where fur might be considered “green” — such as with invasive populations decimating habitat and other creatures; as the New Zealand possum has done. It’s an interesting debate, but I’m still not convinced it has any connection to “going green”. What do you think?