State Street Style: Friend or Faux?

The Gatepost Arts and Features Staff | Sun Dec 9, 2018

If for some reason you still think wearing real fur is OK, it’s time we have a chat. 

With the frigid New England winters approaching, you’re going to need some extra layers to keep yourself from freezing. If you’re in the market for a new winter coat, make sure you’re not grabbing one made with real fur lining or down feathers – we’re looking at you, Canada Goose.

In order to make the fur on a fur coat clean and safe enough to wear, it has to endure an intensive cleaning process involving harmful chemicals to make sure the fabric won’t rot over time. We know, it sounds gross – that’s because it is.  

This information alone should be enough to steer you away from real fur. 

The process of cleaning and treating the fur is incredibly harmful to the environment and is an energy-consumptive process. The overall production of a coat using real animal fur uses 20 times the amount of energy than making one with faux fur, according to The Guardian.

Not to mention the meaningless murder of innocent animals. 

If you think real fur is cute, imagine how adorable the animal that died for it was. With today’s modern technology and synthetic textiles, there are plenty of alternatives to get the look of real fur without ending a life. 

According to lcanimal.org, over 50 million animals are killed each year for their fur. Some are raised on fur farms in horrific conditions and others are caught in the wild using barbaric methods. One fur coat can take the lives of over 100 animals. 

But just to make sure you’re team faux fur, let’s talk about how wearing real fur can harm you. 

According to the Fur Free Alliance, the chemicals used to treat fur for garments have been proven to have direct adverse health effects on those who wear them. The formaldehyde and ethoxylates used to clean the fur can lead to allergies, hormone imbalances, and even cancer. What’s more, the toxins in the fur are absorbed through the skin and can remain in your body for up to 20 years. 

While major high-fashion brands such as Gucci, Stella McCartney, and most recently Burberry have taken a public stance against the use of fur for fashion, we urge you to avoid retailers or brands using and selling garments with real fur. 

Real fur is simply not worth the environmental, medical, and ethical costs. Faux fur looks almost identical to that of an animal, and at the very least, it is much less expensive. 

Next time you go shopping, remember the environment and animals everywhere all agree that faux is the way to go.