Faux Fur: Stylish alternative to the real deal?

This past month Gucci revealed they would no longer be using real fur in their collections, beginning in 2018. This is a decision that was a long time coming. Many other fashion houses pledged to remove fur from their future designs and collections in the past, but this decision brought the conversation to the forefront of people’s minds.

Harvesting fur for fashion is not only in humane for the animals themselves, but also terrible for the environment. The fashion industry remains the second largest polluter in the world, and there are hardly any initiatives to make couture greener on a large scale.

Despite faux fur not being a direct result of the murder and abuse of animals, the environmental cost is equally as bad. Faux fur is made of synthetic materials that look and feel like real fur. It seems like a miracle, right? Well, though they may be fashionable and warm, these poly-blends take up to a thousand years to degrade in nature.

So what is the solution? Fur is trendy, winter is arriving shortly- How can we enjoy these soft garments that are the perfect cold-weather accessory?

You can still enjoy your fur if you own one, after all, you do not want it to end up in a landfill slowly biodegrading and having an animal die in vain. Instead, recycle, upcycle, and buy used or refurbished fur pieces. Keep it out of the landfills. There is a surprisingly large amount of fur coats, stoles, and other fur accessories at any given second-hand shop. Goodwill, Buffalo Exchange, and other local resale locations are bound to have something for you. There are also higher end boutiques who specialize in recycling old furs. They will take a stylish, usually vintage, piece and rework it into something more modern and fashionable.

Granted, some think that to wear fur is to perpetuate the industry. However if you are solely buying refurbished fur apparel and accessories, you are keeping it out of landfills. Stay away from fast-fashion, that will tempt you into buying a mass produced $50 faux fur vest for New Year’s Eve. Instead, invest in a vintage piece-it is already made, so you would not be contributing to the fur manufacturing industry, and it will be a unique item in your closet that no one else will have.

Feel free to explain to your colleagues and coworkers where you bought your fur so they know you are no heartless animal hater! It is possible to be fashion forward and keep the environment in mind.