News | UK | This Britain The fur trade: Bloody fashion

In 1994 Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Claudia Schiffer, and Ell Macpherson were all considered to be at a celebrity status and joinded together in the anti fur protests of the time. The act of wearing fur became a social crime and those deemed guilty risked being abused by strangers on the street. What I find very interesting is that the only model out of these five that has not returned to wearing and promoting fur is Christy Turlington. In the 1990’s, Britain’s fur industry was almost driven out of existence completely and now today is back and thriving more than ever before. An investigation by the Independent has revealed that more than a thousand tons of fur came into Britain just last year.

In many cases, most customers don’t realize that what they are buying is actually real fur and would be completely horrified if they realized the suffering and murder that was involved in killing the animal that is on the trim of their designer coat. Also in many cases fur that is advertised as fake fur is indeed real fur. Major retail store, Forever 21 was caught selling dog fur as fake fur. As stated by Stella McCartney,

“ There’s nothing fashionable about a dead animal that has been cruelly killed just because some people think it looks cool to wear. The continuing use of fur iis still a real problem in the fashion industry and there is an issue with people out there assuming that fur trim is fake when most of it is real.

More than 50 million animals will be killed for their fur this year, most of which will have spent their short lives in miserable conditions on fur farms before they are killed, sometimes being skinned while still alive. The conditions in which these animals live and the ways that they are brutally murdered are devastating. Karakul lambskin (worn by stars such as Keira Knightley), are killed just days after birth or even taken from the womb.


Nicole Richie and the rabbit fur jacket

WHERE AND WHEN: Book signing in New York, 2005

WEARING: Grey rabbit fur jacket

COST: Estimated £1,000

CRUELTY FACTOR: Rabbits are farmed in terrible conditions. A large proportion are bred and killed purely for the fur and the RSPCA says that people should not assume that rabbit fur is automatically a by-product of meat. In the wild, rabbits are roaming social animals that live in burrows. In a cage on a fur farm they are denied this freedom and are usually killed by having their necks broken. The use of rabbit fur in costume is first recorded in 13th-century literature.


Dita Von Teese wears mink

WHERE AND WHEN: Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Awards, Beverly Hills, March 2006

WEARING: Mink cloak

COST: Anything up to £8,000

CRUELTY FACTOR: About 85 per cent of all mink are farmed, something that is incredibly stressful for these wild animals. They live for just six or seven months before being killed; common methods include gassing, electrocution or beating them to death. They are perhaps best known for their dark brown fur, which turns white at the chin and runs to black at the tips of their tails. It takes 60 to 80 minks to make a fur coat. Young tend to be born in May. They are dead by December.

Kate Moss’s seal boots

WHERE AND WHEN: Leaving a London restaurant in March 2004

WEARING: Mukluk boots

COST: About £200

CRUELTY FACTOR: Mukluks are a soft boot made of reindeer skin or sealskin and worn by Inuit. The sealskin is taken from seals that are clubbed to death at two weeks old.

Sophie Dahl chooses mink and white fox

WHERE AND WHEN: Fragrance Foundation Awards, New York, April 2005

WEARING: White mink coat, fox fur collar

COST: Estimated £7,000

CRUELTY FACTOR: Millions of mink and fox endure terrible conditions in fur farms, where they live their short lives in cages so small that they can barely turn around. White foxes that are caught from the wild in steel-jaw traps are in so much pain that some bite off their limbs in order to escape. Many die horrible deaths before the trapper arrives to kill them. Those on farms are gassed or killed by electrocution: electrodes are clamped in the mouth and the rectum.

News | UK | This Britain The fur trade: Bloody fashion


2 responses to “News | UK | This Britain The fur trade: Bloody fashion

  1. I believe that wearing fur is okay if it is vinatge but I do not support the animal cruelty. It is sad to see celebrities who people look up to wearing real fur because they should know enough about animal cruelty not to support it, let alone show it off. Years ago, I bought a vintage mink fur coat that I got at a yard sale and I love that coat, but I would never buy a new real one. Especially today, knowing what I know about the animal farms and what they do to the animals. Like Stella said, “There’s nothing fashionable about a dead animal. . .” which there is not so why has fur come back into the picture? I think with the bohemian chic style of Rachel Zoe and the Olsen twins, faux fur has become a have-to for this fall’s wardrobe, but I do not think everyone is getting the “faux” part. Just from the New York streets and stores I have seen a lot of women wearing fur vest and jacket and it is a good mixture of real and fake, that I have seen. In this article though, it talks about how some fake fur jackets are actually real which I never knew, therefore I am wondering about some of my jackets.

  2. The Fur Industry in China

    I found “The Bloody Fashion” article really interesting. I’ve attended a few lectures involving fur myself. One was similar to the article talking about the broad list of cons with anything involving fur, another was about helping people who were fond of fur and getting them educated in materials and fabrics that let them achieve their desired style without involving the slaughter of any animals being carried on their backs. It also talked about the major designers such as Stella McCartney who was mentioned in the article you posted as well and how passionate she is about this fashion fur dilemma. Diane Von Furstenberg has also gone back to her no fur ways, which made a big impact. After reading this I began to research about the fur industry once again and found a few interesting articles relating to China. Apparently more then fifty percent of the fur in the United States comes from China which also has had problems in the past with labeling real fur as faux fur as well. They use all the same techniques that I’m sure we’ve all heard of from skinning the animal alive to letting the animals bleed to death all in a manner to not harm the coat but having no regard to the animal itself. Going back to one of the lectures I attended I believe broadcasting and getting the word even further out about cruelty-free fabrics and faux furs would be good knowledge for everyone in the fashion industry and even those not in the industry to know about.

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