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Born Free USA Blog

Born Free USA Blog

Is Vintage Fur OK?

Published 10/17/08
By Monica Engebretson, Senior Program Associate

I was recently invited to participate in a local fashion show that was to showcase local fashion designers.

Now, I’m not a professional fashion designer by any stretch of the imagination rather it is something I dabble in for fun, but being part of the fashion show also seemed like it would be fun ... and it was ... for the most part.

The big buzz kill of the evening for me was seeing that one of my fellow local designers chose to use real fur in her designs. Urgh! Why?

Apparently there is an assumption out there among the otherwise cool and contentious that using or wearing vintage fur is akin to recycling and therefor ethically and environmentally groovy.

I beg to differ, and here is why.

1. It is difficult, if not impossible, to obtain a credible assurance that fur used on a garment is indeed “vintage” or “recycled.”

2. Coupled with this problem is the question of how old must a fur be before it is considered “vintage” or “recycled”? Due to the vagueness of these terms it is possible that fur from an animal killed less that one year ago could be considered “recycled,” if it has previously debuted on an earlier fashion.

3. Creating a secondary market for fur items helps to maintain the commercial viability of fur and thus may actually help perpetuate this cruel industry.

4. Using real fur in new fashions, even if the fur is recycled, continues to promote the use of fur.

5. No matter how old, fur is the remains of a tortured and brutalized animal. Fur used in modern fashion is a symbol of cruelty and disrespect for animals and the use of this symbol should not be celebrated or touted as anything more.

Blogging off,

Monica

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