I made a recent purchase that really seemed to bring out quite a few unsolicited opinions. The main theme of each statement can be summarized as such: wearing fur at all is something I shouldn’t be allowed to do as a vegetarian. Before I start sounding like some victimized pearl clutcher – Yes, I understand where these people are coming from. But these are people who seem to forget that my choices are my own – and as long as my reasoning is morally sound to me and isn’t hurting anyone I should be able to go about my life without fear of constant judgement.
I’m against new fur on the grounds that I don’t see the point when so many animals have been killed already (specifically in the earlier part of the 20th century) for fashion. When properly stored, vintage fur is in pristine condition to this day. If an animal was killed decades ago for its gorgeous fur, I think wearing that very same coat, stole or vest today is paying honor to its life. The longevity and reuse of vintage fur destroys the need for another animal to die. By purchasing vintage fur I benefit from its warmth, natural suitability to the elements and the lasting nature of something made from real fur instead of synthetics. It took me a lot of thought and a research project back in university to come to that conclusion.
This is where the environmental issue comes in. A lot of people disgrace fur wearers – more specifically those who only opt for vintage – while wearing faux fur. I see a pattern of people not being aware of how detrimental the production of faux fur actually is. Synthetic fur is essentially made of oil. It is comprised of multiple materials that show wear more quickly than real fur and are incapable of decomposing like their naturally sourced counterpart. Think about it – acrylic is essentially plastic. Once that fake fur coat you owned starts to look dull or worn (which happens relatively quickly) you throw it away and purchase a new one. It cannot be reused, treated or recycled where it can break down and return to the earth. It sits in landfills with other heaps of garbage and will stay like that for thousands of years. All the while more synthetic fur is created by non renewable resources to replace its soiled and worn predecessors. Sure, a fake fur coat is cheaper and can be replaced more easily than a vintage fur coat. But over the dozens of fake fur coats you might go through in your lifetime, that single vintage fur coat has seen decades and numerous owners. Vintage fur is the choice that seems both environmentally friendly and ethical to me.
This is where you make your choice like I’ve made mine. Still prefer faux fur? That’s totally okay and understandable. But please don’t shun or shush me when I try to explain my moral standing in regards to wearing fur. Both vintage and faux fur wearers clearly admire the look and luxury of fur and have made their choices based on their moral and ethical beliefs. We don’t want any more animals to suffer by the hand of our vanity. Faux or vintage – the choice is yours.