We Condemn Real Fur at ShilpaAhuja.com

Fur may have started as the only warm covering for early man, but over the centuries, it became synonymous with fashion. Here’s why we condemn real fur.

rihanna saint laurent heart coat shaped red fallwinter 2016
Red heart-shaped fur coat from Saint Laurent Fall/Winter 2016-17 as seen on the runway (left) and worn by Rihanna (right)

Real fur screams high fashion. At a glance, 9 out of 10 winter fashion campaigns showcase real fur and leather in garments or accessories – either whole or used for trimmings and accents. Also, take a look at any winter magazine cover or celebrity photo-shoot, and you’re more likely than not to spot real fur. It’s like you cannot think of winter clothing without fur.

The Kardashian/Jenner family posing in fur after a Yeezy show

Fur is indeed one of the earliest materials used in clothing.

early people clothing fur animal killing early man neanderthal
Credit: DEA Picture Library De Agostini Picture Library Getty Images via Reference.com

And so, it is difficult to say exactly when it became a high fashion trend. Perhaps its use in couture is as old as the concept of couture itself.

marilyn monroe pic fur coat gown earrings fashion
Marilyn Monroe wearing a fur coat over her evening gown

And it’s not just about fur coats or leather bags. Dress trimmings, belts, gloves and even earrings and iPhone covers come covered in fur, leather or real feathers. Elephants, foxes, minks, cheetah – most land animals suffer from the clothing industry.

chained elephant
A chained elephant’s paw

While some designers and fashion houses like Gucci and Marc Jacobs have embraced faux fur in their designs, others still use real fur in all winter collections. Karl Lagerfeld is one famous designer who participated in the fur controversy quite ballsily. “In a meat-eating world, wearing leather for shoes and clothes and even handbags, the discussion of fur is childish,” is one of his most famous quotes!

fendi fur campaign kendall jenner winter 2016 blue coat pic
Fendi fur campaign featuring Kendall Jenner in a pastel blue fur coat

Fendi fur campaign for Fall/Winter 2016

The iconic designer behind Chanel, Fendi and his own label, Karl Lagerfeld, quoted in an interview to New York Times after being criticized for ‘haute horreur fur-use by PETA, “It’s very easy to say no fur, no fur, no fur, but it’s an industry. Who will pay for all the unemployment of the people if you suppress the industry of the fur?” The designer, 75, does not wear fur himself and has also used faux-fur (or funny fur) in his own label.

karl lagerfeld faux fur coat bag label winter wear

Faux-fur coat and bag from the Karl Lagerfeld label

Why then, am I so against it?

I don’t identify as a religious person. However, the thought of killing animals for an old practice that can easily be avoided in today’s technology era brings me to tears. “As you read this, another innocent animal is being abused, neglected or forced to fight,” writes ASPCA.

Coming from a religious, Hindu family, I was raised as a vegetarian, with the belief that animal cruelty is a sin. When I became an adult, I traveled the world and got the opportunity to see many different cultures, and lived with roommates, most of whom are meat-eating and/or fur-wearing! And slowly, being a vegetarian became a personal choice for me, not a family compulsion.

It’s easy to have those values when you come from a wheat and vegetable producing fertile country where cows freely strut the roads! And that’s why, being a meat-eater is sometimes the only option for a lot of other parts of the world. That, perhaps, is how the world became a fur-wearer, too. How else would you expect the Stone Age lady to keep herself warm? Plus there were all the tigers she had to fight!

But that has changed now. Most of us don’t have lives involving daily tiger fights or rhino kicking. Many of the animals killed cruelly for leather and fur are harmless, like rabbits and minks, who cannot fight back, and are farm-bred for fur-killing. Wiki defines animal abuse as “the intentional infliction by humans of suffering or harm upon any non-human animal, regardless of whether the act is against the law.”

The faux-fur industry has already advanced to the level that one can’t distinguish between imitation and real fur. And technology always has a way of reshaping all industries. You call it “forcing people out of their jobs,” but innovators call it advancement. When a new industry is better, cheaper and more convenient, it slowly takes over the old ones, making them archaic. It doesn’t happen overnight, but most of the times, it makes the world a better place.

So what can we all do against animal cruelty? Identifying the problem is the first part of solving it. If you’re a shopper, look for faux-fur and imitation leather alternatives when you go shopping. If you’re a fashion designer, suggest your ateliers or merchandisers to use the alternatives. Encourage the textile industry to invest in faux-fur, feather and leather creation and advancement.

Uber taught traditional cabbies to use the apps. The hard disk industry taught floppy-makers to innovate and learn. Publishers learned to embrace e-books. So can we resist buying real fur to encourage the faux-fur industry?

If we can, maybe within a couple of decades, fake fur can be as glam, warm and accessible as real fur!

4 thoughts on “We Condemn Real Fur at ShilpaAhuja.com”

  1. Brave of you to speak about this. And Kendall Jenner, Kardashians and other big influencers should, too, instead of posing in fur coats.

  2. Animals don’t need our cruelty. So awesome of you to speak out about this issue. One of the many reasons ShilpaAhuja.com is a level above the rest of the fashion blogs.


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