Faux Fur

December 27, 2012

By Gabrielle.

I see a fair amount of fur in France, especially during the dressed-up winter holidays, most of it exuding an elegant air of “I have been warming this family for three generations, thank you very much.” And then there’s the on-trend younger set’s predilection for faux; whether they’ve chosen it for fashion or due to lack of funds, it’s all cute.

But I wonder. Is faux fur just as ethically charged as the real deal? Maybe you’re against fur, but have no issue with a coat that looks just like fur. Or perhaps you’ve got a hand-me-down fox stole from Great Aunt Helen; what else is there to do but wear it, right? It’s already dead, and has been for decades. Meanwhile, you look so good in it that The Sartorialist photographs you chicly crossing the street in New York while wearing it, and a legion of bloggers pin your image for inspiration. And foxes all over the world run for cover, and your name is as good as Voldemort’s in every skulk.

It’s a mixed message, isn’t it? What are your thoughts?

Here’s a tongue-in-cheek alternative for Great Aunt Helen’s fox stole. And if you’re going for faux, go all out!

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sara December 27, 2012 at 11:17 am

I think as long as one eats meat, or eggs from anywhere other than a small farm, or purchases leather goods, it’s a silly distinction to be opposed to fur, and one that has to do with the fur animals being cute and fuzzy. (for the record, I do eat meat, but purchase it from small farmers, and I wear leather and own no fur, but it’s mre of a fashion question).


2 Tasha December 27, 2012 at 11:26 am

Well said…and a lesson to me as well! I just stopped myself (hubby) from purchasing the loveliest pair of fox fur ear muffs…in the end I “couldn’t do it!” But as you say, unless I am vegan and abstain from other forms of animal products, why should I avoid the purchase? I suppose it is the tactile part that connects us to petting an animal (and possible favorite pet) that makes the fur seem so awful! I also imagine wasting the animal and just wanting it’s fur. If only we did as the earlier hunters and use every part of the animal, it wouldn’t seem so selfish or cruel. Sorry…this is a very wide discussion and I assume it could go on forever…
I respect individual opinions and would not harm, paint or verbally attack anyone for making a decision opposing mine as well.
That said, it was amazing as a child to wear my grandmothers’ coats, hats and stoles!!!


3 Makayla Sampson December 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Live and let live!
I respect people’s rights to believe whatever they choose and to practice that belief for their lives, but to try to force an individual or a group’s beliefs and opinions on others is wrong.
I am a vegetarian, but do not force my children to be vegetarians and frequently cook meat for them.


4 Azure December 27, 2012 at 2:13 pm

It seems different to kill for food than to kill for fashion. My assumption is that since I’m eating beef, one might as well use the leather. For fox fur, on the other hand, I presume no one is eating what little meat there is. Or at least the primary driver is fashion, not food.

That’s how I reason my meat-eating, leather-wearing, faux fur-wearing habits!


5 Kate S. December 27, 2012 at 5:07 pm

I am in the middle on this conversation–I wear leather and limit the animal products I consume but do eat a little of everything from time to time. However, I want to chime in to note that the leather and beef do not come from the same animals. Cows, yes, but different breeds of cows. When we kill a cow for food, its hide is not then made into leather for our shoes, and when we kill a cow for leather, its meat is not then turned into steaks. Nothing judgy here, just clarifying that the argument that we might as well use the leather if we’re eating the meat doesn’t quite work so tidily :).


6 Sara December 27, 2012 at 8:15 pm

As i said, I do eat meat, so this is a purely hypothetical point, but I always kind of thought the other way, that if you kill the animal for leather or fur, at least it’s something that is going to get a lot of use over a long time and where the alternative options (synthetic materials) are likely just as energy intensive (I suppose fleece made from used plastic might be an exception)
Whereas if you eat it, it is a one time use, over and done with thing, that uses much more energy and water than eating something vegetarian does. I think really it’s some interesting personal moral questions we all have to answer for ourselves.

Really my only concern is with people who wear leather shoes and eat hamburgers while proclaiming that fur is torture, no problem if that is what one personally chooses to do, but when people then try to tell others they are wrong it rubs me the wrong way.


7 Marissa December 27, 2012 at 2:41 pm

We have a stunning cow-hide rug under our dining room table, I love it. Every time we eat I love our cow. Although, I don’t eat beef.
I also have a mink coat that I inherited from my Grandma. She was French and looked for any excuse to wear her stunning coat.
Both of these things bring me joy and are cherished.


8 Tasha December 27, 2012 at 3:56 pm

This prompted me to research a bit as I only know what has become my understanding over the years and have probably avoided, learning too much more in honesty, and as expected there is much pro/con debate out there! However, the truths are pretty undeniable and not all neat and pretty. Without details, I’ll let that speak for itself. So whether it be leather, fur, meat or other bi-products, this is not any easy “why waste it if it’s already dead?” or “it’s okay since we eat the animal” decision. And regarding wearing fur, any fur, or not, is it a statement of a bigger picture either way?


9 Ann December 27, 2012 at 5:06 pm

My Dad actually used to be a fur buyer w-a-y up north in Canada so I appreciate that for some people, it’s a livelihood and if it’s done sustainably, I have no problem with it. That said, I can’t say I actually own any fur myself!


10 susan December 27, 2012 at 8:45 pm

I don’t have a well- thought out reason for this, but I say old fur and used fur is OK, new fur is not.


11 Yvonne December 27, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Funny the timing, I bought not one but TWO faux fur coats this winter (both consignment) – I’m not sure why but my attraction to them this season was really undeniable! I love this post about Borgana (which is what I’ve ‘named’ my coats instead of faux fur!) and the photo is gorgeous…


I don’t think I”d wear real fur, old or new, so these are a guilt free and fun way to stay warm!


12 Erin December 28, 2012 at 12:55 am

Once, years ago, I was a young girl working the mail room of a large company. The company had a fancy Christmas party at one of the swankiest hotels in the city. I had a formal dress, but when my grandmother found out about the party she phoned me up and insisted that I borrow her coat. I drove over to her house where she handed me her silver fox. I was 18-yrs-old and the only kid working in the entire building (thanks to my babysitting gig for the company V.P., I had been offered this cherry job and went in part-time after school). Anyway, this was long before the fur debate- the 80′s when Dynasty was in full-swing, and I will say that coat felt like heaven. Now the memory of it makes me giggle. I had more than one compliment and was “petted” several times. I was too naive to think of it then, but heaven knows what they all thought when the mail clerk showed up in that thing. It’s so completely ridiculous that even though I don’t own a fur, nor would I buy one, if she had willed it to me I might have found occasion to wear it and celebrate the type of woman that would send her teenage granddaughter off to a party wearing it.


13 Christa the BabbyMama December 28, 2012 at 6:48 am

We don’t use leather or eat meat, so fur is obviously on the list of things we don’t buy. BUT my mom just passed me down a beautiful wool coat with a fox fur collar – and I’m going to wear it. Why not? It’s already dead, like you say.


14 Pamela Balabuszko-Reay December 28, 2012 at 10:57 pm

I have my Mom’s old Borgana coat from about 1963. Cream, swing style, 3/4 length sleeves. Big buttons. She wore it to dances in High School. V. Fancy!

We were just talking about turning it into a pillow today since I just did that with my Great Grandpa’s wool shirt and the sweater my mom gave my dad to celebrate his birthday in 1966.

I don’t wear fur but faux is fine by me.


15 PinonCoffee January 1, 2013 at 1:46 pm

The point about meat and leather also being from dead animals is a good one. I perfectly happily eat meat and might wear fur if I could afford it, but mindfully and for religious reasons. It’s an on-this-earth thing, not a forever thing. We believe there will be no more death in heaven… just Jesus, the Lamb of God, slain for us and now alive. I’m counting on Him giving me new clothes. :-)


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