Sunday, 27 September 2015

The Fur Debate

Two articles from Stylist and Evening Standard Magazines about the fur industry caught my eye this week. They argued both sides, debating about furs recent popularity and what the different fashion houses stances are.

I'll start off by saying I do not wear real fur myself because I chose not to. I don't find the need to wear fur (real or faux for that matter) and don't really agree with wearing animal skins as part of my outfit.

For Fur
It's an industry worth £25billion worldwide and employs over 1million people with numerous fashion brands including Fendi, Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton and Roksanda using fur in their catwalk collections.

Karl Lagerfeld uses fur and once said in a radio interview, "in a meat-eating world, using leather for shoes and clothes and even handbags... the discussion of fur is childish."

This is the quote that made me stop and think, in some ways he is right. Think about that expensive leather handbag that was a special present last Christmas, or your Sunday Roast you'll be eating tomorrow.

Fur farming was banned in the UK in 2003 but it can still be imported, and is increasing year-on-year. The International Fur Trade Federation's Origin Assured label launched in 2006, set out to label a certified fur product which has been farmed in one of the 29 countries that had signed up to strict farming regulations.

Another question which was raised is that because faux fur has become a fashionable trend, real fur has too. Real fur has been argued to be better for the environment (it requires far fewer chemicals to manufacture than faux fur does) and is a naturally sustainable product. Vintage fur requires a whole other debate, as one comment in the Stylist article stateed 'That coat was a piece of history'.

Against Fur
Both sides argue that the either uses more chemicals than the other and that there's not enough strict regulations in fur farming - and it's still a blurred line. Its dependant on each country to determine their rules for fur farms, which is far from assuring or satisfactory.

Faux fur is highly affordable and as garment technology expands and develops, it's hard to see why we would need to still use real fur. Labels such as Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood and Shrimps (probably the best example of using high quality faux fur) do not use any real fur in their collections.

PETA created the 'I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur' campaign in 1990 and the term is still coined in relation to this debate. People chose to not wear fur for personal reasons, because they're against animal cruelty, because there's no need to or because they don't link the thought of wearing another animal's skin.

Stella McCartney's quote rings true about the fur debate: "As a designer, I like to work with fabrics that don't bleed, that's why I avoid all animal skins. When you consider what animals go through, there's nothing fashionable about fur."

It's a subject which requires more in depth knowledge and research to create an equally balance argument, but the Stylist and Evening Standard Magazines provided an equally horizontal debate.

After reading both articles thoroughly and several times, my personal opinion is that I don't think I will ever wear fur because I don't find the need to but I do respect the decision of those who do.

To read Stylist Magazine's article, please download the free copy on Newsstand.

What's your opinion on The Fur Debate? Are you for or against?

Thanks for reading!
Rhiannon x

*All stats, figures and quotes are taken from Stylist Magazine (Issue 286) and Evening Standard Magazine (Deluxe Fashion Special 18/09/2015)

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