by Michael dEstries
Categories: Fashion.

fur_coat_old

I’ve been seeing a bit more about “vintage recycled fur” being an eco-friendly and acceptable option for those seeking to add a bit of animal to their wardrobe. I know that there are all levels of animal rights activists that visit this site, so I’m curious to hear your thoughts. Personally, I think faux fur is the only option — and even then, I wonder if it still promotes the fur industry. What do you think? If someone wears a recycled fur coat that they bought at a second-hand shop, should they feel guilty? Or should we use that which is already available to avoid supporting new coats and skins?

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About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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  • http://embritadesign.blogspot.com Emily

    I have a fur that I inherited from my great-grandmother. It’s not the same style as that one, it’s just a panel and the collar that are fur. I’ve only worn it a handful of times and it’s always been super cold and something fancy. I would never buy a new fur, or even a vintage fur from a consignment shop…but I inherited this one and it has sentimental value so I’ll pass it down to my children or grandchildren.

  • marrisa

    I personally would never wear fur. I would never pay for it and I don’t want to create any sort of demand for it. Should i wear it second hand I don’t want others to think it looks nice and go out and buy their own new fur.

    I had this debate with a group of friends of my veggie and non-veggies alike. Originally we came to the conclusion that buying new fur=totally not cool
    buying fur from a vintage store that hand chose the products it would sell = not cool as it was creating a market demand

    but what we thought might be acceptable would be, if for some odd reason, a store such as goodwill had fur on it’s shelfs. To buy from there. As a group this was saw as acceptable because goodwill doesn’t choose what stock they take in and there fore does not create a market demand.

    Though that discussion didn’t come to the conclusion of my beliefs I thought it as an idea worth posting.

  • Krystine

    I have inherited furs from my grandmother, and my Mum passed them to her sister, who WOULD wear them and get some use out of them, as I would not.

    I don’t see an issue with it. It’s like my piano has ivory keys – does this create a market demand for ivory piano keys? No.

    Then again, ivory isn’t produced legally anymore.

  • http://RawfoodsRetreat.com Erin Raw foods retreat

    Wow I must be really fortunate because none of my relatives have worn fur for years. My grandmother went to the gym every day was thin and pretty cool (even dated in her 80′s after my gramps passed away) and she knew fur was so not cool and she said it “would have made her look OLD” (word of advice out there for the fur wearers) I realize how lucky now I am. My grandfather on the other side is still alive thin hip. never wore fur. lol.. I have an environmentalist birth mother never wore it and my mom – had one coat years ago but again, she said it would make her look “Old” doesn’t wear it.

    My AR friend bought a used coat thinking it was okay. I was so surprised and shocked (as were others) that she gave it away! We did not judge but it was like; you’re going to go buy a used fur coat (white rabbit) and be an huge time well known animal activist? Puleeeze!

    Ok TMI but that’s my story- never wore fur, refused to model it back in the day when I did that (actually rarely modeled leather- but admit yes I did sometimes) Refused to do these cheesy burlington coat ads my agent booked because they sell fur and they are awful. DOn’t shop there!

    Ok hope that helps :)

    Never wore fur in my life :) even as a kid I refused fur collars on coats mom would find in the store. Of course I was nuts and cried if they killed a fly. My mom still worries because I “adopted” a fly and named it and put it in my room til it died..

    Way TMI now! :)

    E

  • http://thediscerningbrute.com The Discerning Brute

    the fact that it’s vintage does change how it was made, and what it is: horrible and cruel.

    wold you wear a necklace made from the teeth of human orphans if it was second hand? Probably not.

  • http://thediscerningbrute.com The Discerning Brute

    (didn’t finish typing my answer)
    Fur should not be considered something that is appealing to wear. Period.
    The coats would be better off donated to the homeless or used as bedding in wildlife rehabilitation centers. Turing it into yet another object of desire and making it ‘fashionable’ perpetuates the same problem.

  • Whoever…

    Fur is still fur, no matter how you put it – recycled/used or not, it doesn’t matter!!

    Besides it’s really corny… :)

    I really don’t understand how some ‘women’ (I so want to write an insulting word to describe them…) like it! I’m a man so probably I will never understand it! :)

    Anyway it’s still wrong! It’s the same as buying a second-hand object made of an elephant’s tusk! The elephant still had to be murdered in order for the tusk to be obtained (poachers don’t exactly remove the tusks and then let the animals go free)!

    It’s just a lame excuse to wear fur!!

    There are ‘millions’ of different fabrics… Why insist on wearing fur? Would people who like fur continue to love and use it if thousands of fur coats would be donated to homeless people (as mentioned above)? Doubt it ;)

    Change and evolve… Let it go already!

    *sigh deeply* …

  • L

    Why wear fur when there are synthetics that can keep you properly insulated?

    Better yet why not donate your furs to the HSUS for “Coats for Cubs”?

    (http://www.hsus.org/furfree/campaigns/c4c/)

  • Krysta

    In response to Whoever…men wear fur. Lots of men. It’s very popular in the black community.

    I think Discerning Brute hit it on the head (head of lettuce, that is).

    No one knows your coat is vintage, no one cares. It’s a look that other people will covet and think is ok. If everyone is wearing it, how bad can it be, right? The banality of evil…you think you’re just going along with it because it’s already happening.

    Think of it this way: it is NOT a fur coat. It is a pile of dead animals. You are choosing to negate the life of each animal that is sewn together to make that atrocity you are putting on.

  • http://www.mypace.com/xjaxinx jaxin

    I would like to ditto this part of what Krysta said:

    “No one knows your coat is vintage, no one cares. It’s a look that other people will covet and think is ok. If everyone is wearing it, how bad can it be, right? The banality of evil…you think you’re just going along with it because it’s already happening.”

    It’s basically what I was going to say myself! :) If you wear it you’re saying it’s ok. Whether you bought it new, or it got passed to you by your great great grandmother, doesn’t matter.

  • Anna

    There is no reason at all to wear fur, real or recycled anymore. With more awareness in our society of the impact that our choices have on the environment, the animals and the economy, why would anyone want to wear a walking talking billboard that says “not only don’t I care about causing an animal to suffer, I also don’t care about the environment, I will spend money on a luxury that could easly be used to do good and look ugly doing it.”

  • jamie lynn

    i don’t know. i think that it is horrible that animals died cruelly to make it, but if it’s vintage–meaning the animals had already been slaughtered years past to craft this thing for some rich broad’s material sadism–and it already exists, then isn’t it better to honor their sacrifice and utilise it rather than chuck it in a landfill?
    but on the other hand, as was stated previously, other people won’t know it was salvaged, so you look like you are promoting a pro-fur agenda.
    i’m torn. fur=bad, but tossing aside the sacrifice of 40+ animals=bad too.

  • http://RawfoodsRetreat.com Erin Raw foods retreat

    Jamie Lynn

    No need to be torn..(or for the fur coat to be torn ;) “L’s” link (which I’m linking again because it wasn’t click-able) was freaking fantastic. I’ve been giving to and support HSUS for yrs but didn’t know they had this program!

    http://www.hsus.org/furfree/campaigns/c4c/

    that is freakin awesome!

    If I’d ever owned fur hells ya I’d give to them… Wow what a beautiful concept.

    That’s where I’d love to see everyone donate their fur coats/wraps right now!

    Beautiful!!!!!!!!!

    E

  • http://RawfoodsRetreat.com Erin Raw foods retreat

    whoops got a little worked up and repeated myself (no surprise there) but truly inspiring!

  • http://www.veganjapan.net herwin

    hi jamie, i dont think the animals would feel “honored” if we decide to wear their fur because it is “vintage”.
    its all arguments why vintage fur should be “okay” because it doesn’t create a “demand” etc.(which, isnt true, vintage fur is a small step away from the idea that there is “good fur” and “bad fur”.)
    anyway, fur is fur, making arguments that it could be okay is just that, arguments.
    would we also seek arguments to make exeptions at other dispicable thigs like child porn ? like, dont destroy confiscated porn but recycle it, because that way the need for making new child porn is less and so there will be less child victims.
    sometimes we shouldnt argument too much, fur is fur and its cruel, period. why seek argumenst to wear granmothers fur ? she’s dead so is her fur.

  • Doug

    The venom and twisted arguments which some of you guys spout out with regard to fur and fur wearers would indicate that you are thinking, talking and acting out of emotion and not logic. If you can’t think of a logical argument, then resort to insult. Not a very inteligent way to debate.

    Quote – “Think of it this way: it is NOT a fur coat. It is a pile of dead animals.” What a daft comment. Presumably a cotton coat is a pile of grass seeds, a synthetic coat is a couple of gallons of oil, a silk coat is a load of insect body secretions. A table is a tree! (mighty difficult to eat off! )

    I could pick on many more statements above to use as examples, especially the rubbish about human teeth necklases, child porn etc, but would be here all night. Come on guys, take a look again at what you have written , but without the emotional rhetoric running through your brains. Stop and “Think” about some of the rubbish you are spouting here. And lets have proper debate!!!

    Of course it’s ok to wear vintage fur if it’s wearable. It’s long lasting (vintage?), warm, functional, and practical. The fur trade is never going to die out, so you are not saving any animal by discarding it (a twisted logic anyway). And to consign it to the rubbish heap or something trivial like bedding for puppy dogs is not only disrespectfull, but is a shamefull waste of the natural resources of this planet. Ifa resource has been used, it is our responsibility to use it to its greatest potential; ALL resources, whether animal vegetable or mineral.

  • Whoever…

    Here we go again… Another fbr?

    Where do these people crawl under from?

    And then they have the nerve to claim that ‘we’ are being irrational and emotional and that our arguments aren’t valid!!! They are so blind that they’re the ones who don’t present any valid argument and actually insult us from the (fake) pedestal they think they are on!! They do exactly what they accuse ‘us’ of doing!! Now that’s what I call a “not a very intelligent way to debate.”

    Doug – news flash – it’s because of arrogant people such as yourself, who think the world and all its resources is ours to use as we see fit, that the planet is at the edge of the abyss – climate change (there are still ignorant people who refuse to accept this – when it’s already been proven by the majority of the scientific community – and thus going against the rational thinking they defend), an increasing list of endangered species, the depletion of natural resources, pollution of rivers, oceans and air (water and air – 2 things we can’t live without), over fishing and hunting, poverty and hunger because some have too much while others have too little… and I could go on!

    So please don’t claim that we’re being irrational or emotional. Our eyes are open and we do see what’s really going on around us!

    Unfortunately I can’t say the same for the likes of you!!

    Ever watched how animals are skinned alive, suffocated or electrocuted for their fur? Watch this first:
    http://www.peta.org/feat/ChineseFurFarms/index.asp
    and then come back ok?

    Oh, and I also recommend ‘Earthlings’ – that is if you really want to open your eyes and see the truth!!
    Or you can just keep living in your blissful ignorance!!

  • Marisol Fernandez

    I say a big NO. Fur is cruel. Fur from years past is cruel. Wearing fur promotes cruelty because it makes it fashionable…

    Those who argue and say that the animal is dead would also justify this scenario:

    In WW2 in the Holocaust, the Nazis used the skin of Jews who were killed to make lampshades. That happened in the 1940′s so it is vintage. The Jews are long since slaughtered–so it’s okay to buy and display such a vintage lampshade, right??? Obviously not!!!!

    Fur is ghoulish and disgusting and not ever fashionable!

  • Jesse

    Marisol, Whoever…, and Brute:

    The people you’re arguing against (or trying to enlighten, depending on your AR pursuit), think you are absolutely INSANE when you compare the suffering of humans to the suffering of non-human animals. Speciesism is still the norm.

    So it really doesn’t do anything for your argument. In fact, it works against you. Too many people (!) stop watching Earthlings when the plight of the Jewish people, along with sexism and racism, is compared to the suffering of farm animals. It might be more than true in your mind, but it COMPLETELY LOSES people who were otherwise willing to listen!

  • http://www.greenwithglamour.com deana – green with glamour

    This is such a hard question!!! I would NEVER wear fur myself. I’m a vegan and rarely wear leather (when I do it’s re-purposed or heirloom – and when I do I can only bear it in tiny amounts). But I’m also a staunch advocate of re-use. All of this said, I just don’t think I will get to the point where I’m comfortable with fur in fashion. I’m afraid our grandmothers, mothers and (god help us) we have created a generous amount cuddly materials that should be donated directly to your favorite animal shelter (real furs make amazing beds for animals in need)!

  • Doug

    Walked right into it didn’t you “Whoever”. Precisely what I said. Run out of emotional argument and you have to resort to insult.

    You don’t know who I am from Adam, so you can say what you like and it makes no difference whether it is right or wrong. Which really makes it all rather pointless.

    Your rant about global warming is totally irrelevent to the question here. But since you bring it up, of course I recognise global warming. I;ve studied ecology for the past 45 years for chrissake, I should know what I am talking about. How you got the idea from my post that I think the earth’s resources are there for us all to use up is a mystery. It is the complete opposite of my life’s passion.

    Your “newsflash” rant is in fact a little irrational, mixing up a number of things in one muddled paragraph, that has nothing to do with the fur trade, which is what we are discussing here. Sort it out and I might answer it more logically.

    Getting back to fur. Of course I have seen the PETA vids on the chinese fur farms, they are years old and half the world must have seen them by now. Do you seriously believe that anyone in the West condones that sort of treatment?Every sane person including fur wearers abhors that treatment of animals, it is criminal, and it always mysifies me as to why the makers of the vids have always kept the source secret.

    Where we differ, is that I recognise that those horrors exist, but I have also seen vids of how proper Western fur farms are run. You make your choice as to which you believe to be the norm of responsible practice. You choose to base your argument on a vid of what is obviously not a properly run fur farm, and is made by an organisation intent on promoting its own agenda and you choose to ignore any other evidence to the contrary. I accept both sides, and have to make my choice on a balance. You dont tar a whole industry because of the illegal actions of a few. if we did that there would be no industry at all.

  • maria

    Doug,

    I find it hard to believe that you honestly consider an aberration like a fur coat using a resource to its fullest potential. Biologically speaking, a fur coat’s purpose is to sustain the vital processes of an animal’s body so that it may live. That is its potential fully realized. It is incredibly jarring, to me, to take such a thing out of context and make it into a frivolous commodity. To make frivolity of a life every bit as complex as yours.

    Wearing a fur coat is the disrespectful act, not the abstaining therefrom. It is an extravagant symbol of misuse and disrespect of the planet’s natural resources and taking elements – which over billions of years evolved to fit a specific, finely tuned niche – out of context is pathologically arrogant. And pride always goes before the fall.

    • Louise

      I couldn’t agree more with Maria’s last response. Fur is the absolute antithesis of realisable potential, and it is also wasteful; never in my life have I seen mink or fox on the menu, and I doubt you have either. Following from this, I’d like to respond to Charlotte who wrote:

      “what is the difference of wearing heirloom leather and vintage fur? They are both from animals… or are cows less ‘cute’ than rabbits and minks, and therefore less important?”

      The difference between leather and fur has nothing to do with the ‘cuteness’ of the animals in question, rather their utility. Beef cattle are raised primarily for meat, and once they have been slaughtered nothing goes to waste, including the hide. Leather is not a symbol of wastefulness, nor does it represent ostentatious vulgarity. In contrast, fur does. (Rabbits may also be farmed for meat but in most cases they are raised for fur).

      • Scarlett

        Rabbit definately and mink possibly are often used in cat and dog food. It may sound repulsive but its true. Those farming fur are going to want the full possible amount of money that they can make out of their animals and often won’t let it wase.

  • maria

    that last line was pretty dramatic, wasn’t it? haha

  • charlotte

    If wearing vintage fur perpetuates the market for fur, then surely wearing synthetic does the same thing?

    And Deana, what is the difference of wearing heirloom leather and vintage fur? They are both from animals… or are cows less ‘cute’ than rabbits and minks, and therefore less important?

    Doug, i have to agree with what you are rationally, as opposed to emotionally, arguing.

  • Krystine

    ” Anyway it’s still wrong! It’s the same as buying a second-hand object made of an elephant’s tusk! The elephant still had to be murdered in order for the tusk to be obtained (poachers don’t exactly remove the tusks and then let the animals go free)! ”

    In response to Whoever, I own a second-hand piano with ivory keys. I know the elephant was murdered, but to tear all the keys off and throw them out only to be replaced with plastic (the production of which would be obviously harmful for the environment) would be wasteful. Granted, this is somewhat different from fur because I don’t parade my piano around on my back all winter. I play it, it is in my own home and no one but me notices that the keys are ivory.

    Maybe one day when the use of animals for fur is completely abolished, second hand fur coats will be okay to wear because even if there IS a demand for fur, there won’t be anywhere to get it. I agree that at this point they contribute to the demand for fur, but so does faux fur, really, and faux leather contributes to the demand for leather. Herein lies the problem.

    I don’t claim to know the solution, and I don’t think anyone does!!

  • R. Workman

    Boy! I can hear the knees jerking all the way from here!

    Short answer: Think! Don’t just parrot what others have told you!

    If you don’t like fur, then fine. I support your right to decide. But, no matter what the topic, be it fur, politics or what-have-you, people have to stop believing what others tell them and learn to make rational decisions for themselves.

    From all the quasi-intellectual claptrap about ‘creating demand’ and ‘promoting vanity’. It’s all variations on the same slop people have been regurgitating for years.

    Stop and think! Does the judicious use of fur products lessen the need for oil? In two important ways, it does.

    Does recycling fur coats allow us to take advantage of things that would otherwise go to waste? Absolutely!

    Is it possible that there are furbearing animals used for other purposes where the fur might otherwise go to waste if we didn’t make garments out of the pelts? There is at least one case I can think of.

    Might other people who have a vested interest in promoting radical agendas be manipulating you into supporting their cause? Definately!

    Could they be using ‘wealth envy’ and zenophobia as tools to manipulate you? No doubt in my mind!

    Again, you don’t have to like fur. I aim to keep my point as far from the anti-fur debate as possible and still remain within the topic of this thread. I refer to the regurgitated crap I hear people repeating over and over.

    Get your emotions out. Think with your head. You might not come to a different conclusion but you’ll certainly be wiser for the effort.

  • steph

    i would NEVER EVER wear fur NOR fake fur!

    I don’t want any one to think for ONE SECOND that i support that cruel and disgusting look.

    Once I said something to someone wearing a full length fur coat. i always open my mouth. and the person insisted it was fake (and they ALL say that) I asked if i could touch it and sure enough it was fake and it looked incredibly real.

    I would NEVER WANT ANYONE TO THINK THAT ABOUT ME. I NEVER want to promote the look of heartless cruelty. NEVER.

    Not to mention the whole fake fur=petroleum products argument.

    Of course, if you just HAVE TO look like you support cruelty, fake is the way to go….but i chose to do neither.

  • Irene

    I’m a pragmatic vegatarian and although I agree with the readers who say they dont want to encourage the wearing of fur, vintage or not, if the animal is already tortured and dead, it is just an insult to their existence to throw these jackets onto a landfill. I’m from South Africa, and I see severe poverty every day, why dont they donate these jackets to cold impoverished countries where the jacket will atleast serve a purpose.

  • Doug

    Hehe very dramatic Maraia, and well said. I have to assure you though that as a person I am not proud or arrogant, my friends would die laughing if they heard you say that!

    A fur coat an abberation? Your entitled to that view, but the majority of people in the world don’t agree.

    I think you have misunderstood my point. I’m certainly not being frivolous here. I’ve spent my whole life marvelling at and studying this amazing planet, and the incredible web of life that it supports.

    But that’s what it is. Everything alive (and dead) is a resource for every other living thing on this planet. The system just would not work without it. when an animal dies, it’s skin is STILL a resource, whether for bacteria, moulds and fungi in the soil, or eaten, (our cats eat the WHOLE skin as well as the rabbit when they catch one), or it can be preserved a bit longer and and used for clothing other animals (us). Before it is eventually returned to the soil where the bacteria etc. STILL get it. Whatever happens to it it is still a resource to other things, which still goes on long after the animal has died.

    It’s not flippant at all death is the basis of life, there’s no two ways around that. you will die, I will die. As humans we fear death (why?). There is an amzing wonderment at being part of this endless cycle of life.

    But we all exist only as a resource. When you go out into wild places, you are potentially a resource, nothing more for Bear, Cougar, Lion, Shark, or any other natural predator. They wont even care whether you are dead or alive before they start eating you.

    The question was. Is it OK to wear vintage fur, simple question, simple answer yes! The pelt has already been made into a coat. If you throw it away, you are rejecting its usefullness as a resource providing warmth and comfort. you are not depriving the final outcome of the coat, that will happen anyway.You are merely extending the usefullness of the skin long after the original animal has died.

    A fur coat may last two or three generations. faux fur, cotton or wool wont. To get the same amout of usage out of other materials than you would from a fur coat would ultimately involve wastage of even more of the world’s resources. My argument would be that once the coat is made, it would be even more flippant to say “Well its got more use in it yet, but I wont wear it because it came from a dead animal.

    You may not support the killing of animals, but believe me, all animals do it, it’s pretty natural, and if you stop to think about it you would be amazed at the amount of animals that die every day to support your lifestyle (and mine).

    Food for thought – Two species per day are being wiped out (whole species, gone…forever) by the clearance of rain forest, not just for grazing, but for soya, coffee, sugar and oil drilling.

    There is no right or wrong, we make our choices by thinking things through, and balancing our judgement. If someone else comes up with a different decision (as long as they’ve seriously thought about it rather than acting emotionally), then thats OK we should all respect that. There should be no need to shout at and insult each other.

    The arrogance in fact comes from the people who say “I am right, you are wrong”. There is no right or wrong to this question.

  • mack

    oh, so fake fur is okay? do you mean synthetic fur? as an ecologically educated bunch i would think it is obvious that synthetic fur is the least sustainable and most damaging product in the fur category. it is made from petrochemicals and is VERY BAD for the environment.

    on the other hand real fur is sustainable and ecologically sound. if you can just get over the animal use. and if you have a problem with fur for that reason you should probably not be wearing wool, down, or anything made from natural fibers. in that case you would be best off wearing only synthetic man made materials.

    and by the way, cotton kills millions of living creatures, so don’t think that is the best way. and organic cotton? not enough land on the planet to provide enough cotton for all the people on the earth.

    oooh there’s just no right answer is there?

  • http://magdathepug.com/wordpress/ Catwrangler

    No I would not wear a fur coat whether it was recycled or new.

    I don’t even like the concept of wearing ‘synthetic look-alike’ fur because I think people take it out of context still thinking that the fur look is pretty. I gave away a leopard print jacket because even then I didn’t like the fact that I was promoting that fur skin look is cool on people.

    I think the fur coats for puppies is good. I don’t think anyone throws furs into the landfills so that argument seems pretty out there except we should think about all the other things that end up in landfills.

    No one HAS to wear fur. To think that grandmother’s coat was the only wearable option is ridiculous. Also there are usually about 75 coats at Goodwill to the 1 fur coat at Goodwill.

    I just think fur looks bad and when I see someone in one – I think how ignorant and unattractive they are for wearing it. I have yet to see someone wearing a fur coat that looked down and out and was just trying to stay warm.

  • http://www.ingaambrosia.com Inga Ambrosia

    no thanx … the bad energy is still on it, time doesn’t change that.

  • Doug

    Inga I can’t believe you said that! Our whole lifestyle is based around and depends on things that are made of plastics, chemically produced (petrochemical)or chemical sustained (fertilisers/ insecticides etc), and you pick on fur as having bad energy? How in touch with energy are you? Have you been “out there” – on “The Land”?. Fur, Leather, and wood etc – These are the things that bring us close to the natural, sustaining and energising energy of the natural world and the miraculous web of life of which we are part. Just becuase we may live away from Nature now, doesn’t mean we should reject it. As I said above, death is natural. Life and death are one issue in Nature. Do you not feel for the wolf, the seal, the tiger? even though these wonderful creatures base their whole life on, and depend on the violent death and destuction of other creatures? Has your so called “bad energy” rubbed off on them? Should we reject them because of this? Of course not, it is not bad energy, it is the energy that supports and sustains life.

    Catwrangler – You may think fur is unattractive, ok that is your choice, dont wear it if it doesnt suit you. But as you also recognise in your comment about faux, many people do think fur is “Pretty” as well, and recognise it for its natural beauty warmth and practicality.

    Just because these people have different views from you doesnt give you the right to insult them by calling them ignorant. Most fur wearers have thought about what they do, know all the facts and make their choice out of inteligent thought not ignorance.

    I personally believe that most so called animal lovers act purely out of emotion and listen to rhetoric and propaganda, but I wouldn’t call them ignorant en masse. I certainly believe that they need to continue to think for themselves and get a REAL grasp and insight into the workings of the natural world. They are not ignorant, it’s just that they look at things at the value someone else with an axe to grind has thrust into their minds. Don’t alllow your emotion to taint your humanity.

    Also – 75 coats at good will compared to one fur coat? Kind of shows that fur is a long lasting and valued product, whereas other coats usually containing a lot of synthetics are short lived, and people discard them and buy another at a whim, without any regard for the sustainability of clothing and the eco destruction their choice of garment has caused.
    Not seen the down and out keeping warm in fur? Just look harder. They sure are there. although maybe some dont’ want to be stignatised as poor and in poverty by wearing one of PETA’s paint marked furcoats that they give to the poor. How crass is that? just give them the undamaged furcoat, why stigmatise them as “everyone look at me, I have paint on my coat, I have to wear handouts.”

  • http://magdathepug.com/wordpress/ Catwrangler

    Hmmm… I thought we were commenting on the article and our opinions on if we would wear it instead of having Doug be the expert and comment on all our comments.

    You are entitled to your opinion and we are entitled to ours. I mean this is Ecorazzi that we are reading so we are all likely to be biased towards animal rights.

    Fur on their original owners=good. I just have to look into my cats eyes to know that. Fur on humans=bad.

    And to all a goodnight!

    • Scarlett

      thats a bit harsh. your the oe who talked about the other lady’s grandma’s fur coat.

  • http://notofur.wordpress.com/ oneandonlyhypnos

    I say no to animal fur. Wheter it’s vintage or not. It still promotes this fur madness.

    Concerning fur being eco-friendly. There is no evidence ot that. It’s nothing more – according to me – than a marketing ploy to promote fur as eco-friendly. Because eco-fashion is trendy…for now anyway.

    I have not forgotten the near extermination of fur bearing animals during the 70s and 80s in middle and south america by the international fur trade.

    Nor will I turn a blind eye to the suffering of these animals (also on western fur farms and by trapping). I can’t ignore the use of chemicals either during the tanning and dyeing of fur.

    By the way, synthetic clothing is not ‘evil’. There are biodegradable syntethics being developed. There are eco-friendlier solutions out there. sure, there still is a long way to go, but what are we supposed to do? Run around in jeans and t-shirts made from mink and foxes?

    And what about other eco-friendly alternatives like bamboo or hemp?

    And the idea of long lived fur coats is flawed. Because of the fashion industry itself. Fashion changes, so when one particular style goes out of fashion, people will buy something else. Fox is out of fashion? no problem, ditch it and wear sable! That’s how it works. People consume to much and that is the real threat to the environment.

  • R. Workman

    oneandonlyhypnos: “And what about other eco-friendly alternatives like bamboo or hemp?”

    Bamboo is anything but eco-friendly.
    Because of the demand for bamboo, supposedly as an alternative product, has grown so much farmers in third world countries are beginning to to cut down forests and plant bamboo to cash in on the fad. All the while, we believe we are “helping” the environment, we are actually doing more damage.

    Another product that is bad for the environment is coffee. The same thing happens there. Farmers in Indonesia and Sumatra are chopping down forests to plant coffee. “Fair Trade” coffee makes it even worse because it encourages more farmers to plant coffee. Shade-grown coffee MIGHT be the exception but the jury is still out on that one.

    Palm kernel oil is probably the granddaddy of them all! It is used in everything from snack foods to soap. The worldwide demand for palm kernel oil is probably one of the biggest threats to endangered species like the orangutan there is.

    I don’t want to belabor details. We could argue about the good or bad points of 100 different products, fur being only one of them. But we have to realize that there is an environmental cost to EVERYTHING we do!

    Yeah, fur might be bad on the surface but there might be some benefits to it. There might be environmental costs that outweigh it.

    Just one trip in your SUV to the convenience store to buy a donut and a cup of coffee probably does more environmental damage than 10 fur coats.

    Again, I am not here to debate whether you should like fur or not. It’s a free country. We all have the right to our opinions. I am saying that we should THINK instead of parrot a bunch of BS.

    The truth is that there is NOTHING that humans do which doesn’t have an effect on the environment. Even if you committed suicide tomorrow, your rotting corpse would have an effect… possibly good… possibly bad. I don’t know for sure.

    We all live in a modern society that is going to have an effect on the environment whether we like it or not. We have to come to terms with that. We have to figure out what to do about it before it’s too late.

    Knee-jerking about the supposed evils of fur isn’t going to get us any closer to a solution.

  • http://notofur.wordpress.com oneandonlyhypnos

    The primary solution…as I already stated is to consume less. That is the important factor.

    Wearing luxury fur coats or fur trim on polyester vests doesn’t seem to be a solution in that respect.

    And I have yet to be presented with true unbiased evidence that shows that fur is really that eco-friendly as they would have us believe. Because as far as I know, it’s just another form of intensive farming.

  • Doug

    I don’t get it. The theme of this thread is, – should we wear vintage fur. The style of the fur coat in the pic at the top would suggest 50′s, 60′s fashion? – 50 years old! It can be worn as it is, or re-styled into a more modern garment. And many people would be happy to wear it. Would we be having the same discussions/questions about a cloth coat from the 50′s? When it comes down to consumption, a fur coat is going to last longer than any other. A 50 year old cloth coat or synthetic coat would be hard pressed to be made into a stylish garment.

    If you have a vintagfe fur coat, then wear it. Don’t waste resources by buying a new coat, when you have a perfectly serviceable old fur coat.

  • http://www.ElementEcoWear.com Dallas

    First: I agree that wearing fur creates a public perception that fur is both ‘acceptable’ and ‘desirable’–definitely NOT something I personally want to perpetuate! Anyone on the street who sees someone in a fur coat won’t know that it was ‘used’.

    Second (SOLUTION?): I agree that it seems a shame to ‘waste’ the forced sacrifice of animals’ lives by throwing said coats into landfills–but there may be a constructive alternative. Any used fur coat sent to PETA will be used in their anti-fur demonstrations. So, if you see a cheap fur coat in a thrift shop, feel free to buy it and send it to them. This gets it out of the public eye (as a ‘fashionable item’), and turns that animal’s death into something that may in some small way save the lives of others. Please note, though, I haven’t checked on PETA’s program recently, so you may want to verify that they still accept such coats. I don’t know why they wouldn’t, but just in case.

  • s

    recycled & vintage or not, fur is always dusgusting to look at and ALWAYS involved the murder of an animal. definitely a nay.

  • Auti Hifunc

    I strongly support Doug’s point of view.

    Thank you, Doug, for your refeshing use of logic and analysis as opposed to emotions and irrationality.

    I only wish many other people could argue their points in such a precise and well-thought-out manner.

  • Alex

    Hello all,

    I seem to have stumbled on this thread long after the discussion simmered down, however I feel there are important points on this subject.

    Let it be said that I truly am animal lover. It is my profession, my passion and the sole charity for which I volunteer. I have worked in animals shelters, sheltered animals in need and rehabilitated wild life. I have had a seagull live in my tub. I am an apprenticing obedience trainer. I love animals, I believe in animal rights.

    However, I am not a vegetarian, but I am a vintage fanatic. I have yet to buy a vintage fur piece, however I do own leather. This is a renewable resource people! Plastic and polyester will NOT biodegrade. It will continue to fill our landfills. I buy second hand because I feel it should be put to good use. Has no one, AR and general public alike, not realized the fact that we’re arguing for the use/non-use of coats that were worn by our grandparents… coats that are STILL in fabulous condition and practical. After FIFTY YEARS. How many coats have you disposed of in your lifetime? YES, 40 animals died for that one coat, and to manufacture it required twice the amount of energy that would be required for a wool or cotton coat. That’s less then on (lets say) rabbit a year! Do you mean to tell me that in those 50 years where that coat has been used, another person hasn’t gone through several dozen synthetic coats. Say 20 coats, ladies it’s reasonable to assume we buy a new coat every two years or so? Okay so if that same woman had bought a fur coat she would have conserved the same amount of energy required for 12 synthetic coats. How many barrels of oil would we have conserved? How much cotton? How much land? How much fuel for transport of merchandise? How much money? And in turn, how much wild life have we spared with that one rabbit coat made from domesticated animals bred for that purpose? How many endangered species? Imagine if everyone kept one fur/leather coat for decades how much land and energy and how many natural resources we would have conserved? How many bunnies would still have land to live on, not to mention the countless species affected every day by waste like this.

    No, I would not go out and buy a $10,000 coat. It is a waste of money at that price, but these vintage coats for $150? I’ve seen some that would last me 20 years still with the proper care, I would save thousands, environment aside. Why not invest your time and energy and emotion into something that makes sense? Real animal abuse, senseless cruelty with NO purpose. There are thousands of shelters in North America that NEED volunteers, they NEED donations. Otherwise, animals who serve no purpose will be destroyed for no reason besides the fact that there was no one to care. They will serve no purpose. They need you. They don’t need fur coats to keep warm, they have their own. A fur coat with a litter of puppies would be destroyed in less than a week. A fur coat that could have prevented 20 other polyester non-biodegradable coats from filling our land fills. Waste, of any kind, indirectly fills our landfills. Use them to their FULLEST extent. Give the animals a blanket you can wash and reuse a million times.

    Yes I would wear domestic harvested fur of the second hand variety. No, I don’t like to think about the fact that I’m wearing “a pile of dead animals” I also don’t like to think about how I’m eating a chickens leg when I eat chicken. No one does, no one is that insanely cruel (okay most people…). But seriously, go for a cause that sincerely needs and can use the help. Do something that will really make a difference. All the money it costs PETA to have a coat shipped to them and the paper work and the this and the that, before the homeless person ever sees the coat, could buy them a brand new one at walmart. Let people conserve, let them reuse. Let us take care of the planet, it won’t always be pretty but everyone on this post is TRYING. Take it easy on each other.

  • Veronika

    I agree with Doug.

  • VintageDeVille

    Don’t just jump on the bandwagon…..I love wearing REAL VINTAGE FUR (after reading all the posts, I have realised capitals is the way to make your point, yes?) I agree it is awful what these animals have had to go through, that’s why I don’t wear new fur. I would rather animals died than we kill ourselves…Hopefully by restyling vintage fur it means that less new fur will be purchased….or synthetic fur will be produced. I’m not going to write a long winded post about everything I believe in or try to prove that I am aware of every angle of this arguement…just believe me I have considered it all and I still think choosing the vintage fur is the best option. Also, the fur can be a biproduct of food production…so where’s the harm? ;)

  • squarehead

    I do own and wear recycled or vintage fur. As someone from Scandinavia (it gets rather cold), I can say that every aspect of my purchasing goods results comes down to some core bottom line questions: Will it last for years? Was it sustainably produced? Was it locally produced? Can it be cleaned and repaired instead of thrown out? Are there chemicals in it or used to make it that will harm me or the environment? Before buying items, I inspect and ask myself or a sales person this. No, of course I do not want to inflict pain on animals uselessly. I have raised my own vegetables and have caught fish to eat. This doesn’t make me a monster. Nor does it make me uninformed. Takk.

  • Becky

    People are animals too.

  • Becky

    It is illogical to elevate ourselves above our concept of ‘animal’ to a degree that allows us to define ourselves as ‘human’ with the concept of being ‘humane’ and then to simultaneously descend ourselves into the depths of the animal kingdom ‘red in tooth and claw’.

  • Lucy

    I wear fur.

    I am a firm believer that discarding, destroying or burning a vintage fur is an insult to the animals that were sacrificed to make it. And, like with the hair of the women of Auschwitz on display at the museum there, a ‘vintage’ necklace ‘made of poor human orphan teeth’ would probably be honoured in it’s own way as well.

    I only buy my furs from secondhand, non-for-profit stores. Not exclusive boutiques dedicated to the trade. I’d like the money I spend on my furs to at least go to a good cause rather than someone’s pocket. I make a point to explain where I purchased the fur and why to anyone who asks how I got a hold of it.

    I am much more inclined to pest fur. I’d rather an animal have a quick death (to protect the fur from rigidity that occurs after rigor mortis) and be skinned for fur than die as rabbits and foxes do in the wild where they are considered a threat to the native ecosystem; either a painful death by trapping, or a long and terrifying death by poisoning or disease (myxomatosis here… urk, blindness, paralysis and death via starvation) – all of which can take days to occur.

    I don’t feel guilty in the slightest while wearing my coats.

    And, just for those arguing about the impact we have on the enviroment (people who use real fur are big, bad, resource-gobbling, globe-killing meanies!!), did you think about the impact the fabrication of the materials used for faux fur and various other synthetics have?

    My opinion of the matter.

  • don miguelo

    Fur is an Industry and wearing it WILL PROMOTE it, unless you tell every person who sees you wearing it that it was handed down and you would never buy a new coat. However, that old coat is not hurting new animals, and re-using is good as it makes their involuntary sacrifice at least meaningful if it keeps you warm a few more decades. If we just burn them all that is a kind of waste as well. Conundrum!

    This is one of those issue that it’s easier to be all for it aor all against it, as the middle is so full of land mines it’s ridiculous. I don’t have a resolution for you all here, except that maybe it’s up to you as a person to see how you feel about it. I personally don’t do it, but have understanding for people who do. Buying a new fur coat at Macy’s is unacceptable to me, especially if you could get a vintage one or just an organic non-animal coat somewhere else so easily these days.

  • Scarlett

    I would never weare fur though. I beleive that it encourages the wrong things. I also couldent walk around wondering if the mink im wearing was skinned alive or blodgened to death. I could weare syntetic though, which I admit is encouraging exactly the same fur and shows that I desire the cuddly softness of fur but am to ashamed to wear real.

  • Anna

    It’s not simply about fur, also about promoting less consumerism. I have a beautiful coat, that happens to be fur, that I didn’t buy. I don’t even buy clothes, they are all swapped or second hand, and from my mother’s aunt’s closet. I also dumpster-dive, so that my money doesn’t go into the system. Anything I can get for free i do, and give away what i don’t need for what I do need. So next time you judge someone wearing a fur coat, don’t judge them. They might be more aware than you think.

  • Darien

    Now new fur is a bit of a controversial topic for me. I see several beautiful (warm) coats in thrift shops. Now wouldnt it be going against our morals to not reuse these items? After all, we already killed that animal, and it was in a day when regulations were not in our power, so it is not our generations fault as to how the coat came about.

    If the designer bought the fur or hyde after the animal has been used for food, then by all means, save what you can use what you can. I will NOT agree however, with killing the animal for the fur and then considering the rest for food.

    I went into a “Fur Boutique” the other day just to see what a new fur store was like. It was sort of creepy, fur everywhere. I asked where he got the fur, and he would not answer me. Im not sure if it was because he was nervous i was against fur, but he pretended that he did not know where the fur he bought for HIS store was from.

    The thing that makes me the most angry in this world are lies, ignorance and lack of apathy.
    Lies: This man knew where his fur came from
    Ignorance: If he was truthful about not knowing the source, he should get in the know! That is disgusting to even think about.
    Lack of apathy: I guess this one is more my opinion, I cannot believe someone could start a business in that industry and not seem to hate his job. But then again, money is money and what is a few dead furry cute bunny animals right????

    !Wrong.

    But im not sure if i have any opinion that counts, because im not in that industry. So how would I know right from wrong?