Thursday, 16 September 2010

The Fur Debate

I spent this summer dancing at festivals into the night and watching the sun rise. The reason I was able to do this? My rabbit fur coat. I was the only person who felt none of the evening chill after bright sunny days wearing very little and I sat watching the sun rise very happily.
The other thing I spent the whole summer doing was defending my reasons for wearing it. There were many looks of surprise 6 months ago when I first donned the coat however I have noticed recently a marked decrease of shock on observers faces. Maybe fur is being more widely worn or maybe I have just become less sensitive. Indeed the first time I wore it into town I came back in tears certain that the students behind me in Starbucks had slashed my fur as it was hanging off at my elbow. I was mistaken and the pellets had just come apart. However one designer shop in York  had anti fur protestors outside when they first brought in fur trimmed coats, so people are still as sensitive and passionate about the issue as they were 20 years ago.
Today's papers are full of people eating locally; sourcing their food and using the whole animal, so eating more economically has become a real social issue. We are all becoming well educated about farming. Vegetarianism isn't the only moral option. I eat meat; I wear leather, as do the majority of the British population. Why should I not wear animal fur that has been farmed to keep me warm, when those pigs were farmed to feed me? I see no moral difference between the two. Equally I strongly respect and agree with my many Vegan friends who are mostly Vegan for health and environmental reasons. After eating with my Vegan friend all weekend at one festival I felt alive and full of energy (despite the amount of alcohol consumed) and very well fed with beautiful food, but I still wore my coat and she did not blink an eyelid. She knows I eat meat, why should I not wear the natural fur from that rabbit stew?
My second argument which I feel equally strongly about is that I would much rather wear a natural fabric than a manufactured fabric any day. Silk, wool, cotton, fur all let your skin breathe and last much longer than any nylon. They do not irritate your skin. They keep you far warmer than any man made outfit I have ever worn. Ultimately they have been manufactured naturally. There has been no chemicals or carbon used or created and I can wear my natural fabrics with no worry of extra hormones being put into our environment.
Thirdly I wear Vintage furs. These are recycled and re worn. They have a history. They would have been the central piece of a woman’s wardrobe, the very expensive piece that would hopefully last a lifetime. They have, and now they are lasting another lifetime. I wear my fur with respect for not only the previous owner’s life whilst wearing it but also of the animals that created it. They probably lived short lives but now they are being appreciated for decades to come.
I feel a shift away from the Cruella De Ville, long finger-nailed, immoral bitchiness that was previously associated with fur wearers. Surely fur is the natural choice that I feel morally and environmentally assured to wear.
 Tilley's Vintage Furs.
This beautiful 1950’s rabbit Fur was brought second hand in the 60’s at London’s Portobello road, so has already given two women a few decades of wear. Now it can give a third modern woman the chance to love and appreciate the natural beauty of this piece £75 at

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