I know we’ve had the great fur debate before, but something happened that has made me want to talk about it again. Recently, my friend, Courtney was dining at a restaurant in Paris and had her purse stolen. Her purse was this beautiful ocelot…
Now, this is where our fur story begins. This purse is vintage. It isn’t new, nor did Courtney go out and hunt down an ocelot and make the purse herself! She found it at an antique shop in her home town. When she saw the purse, she just fell in love, “I’d never seen anything like it before, it was in sad shape, and I knew no one else around there would give it the same respect I would. I knew it was special and rare, and for being a wonderful endangered animal I feel like someone owning it who understands both sides of the tragedy and wonderment of the piece, that could only be the best thing to do. And because it was just amazing in general,” She shared. Courtney was also a vegetarian for ten years and adores animals. When she began working in the vintage clothing industry, her attitudes toward fur changed, “As a vintage buyer I can’t let my personal taste and feelings affect how I buy, and so I had to gradually become friendly with fur and the like for the sake of my job. Then I realized I loved it, it looked good, it was cozy, and the closest I’ve gotten to having a pet of my own since I moved out of my folk’s house when I was 18.”
For those of you who are about to raise up your PETA signs, and lash out by typing with your keyboard on caps lock, will you just listen for a moment? What can you actually do about this piece? What can you actually do about vintage fur in general? This is something that bothers me the most about people who get upset about fur, even vintage fur. They will sit there, on their computer, angrily typing and moaning about animal rights, but offer no solution. What good is that? The anti-fur group just appears to be angry that the fur exists. As of this moment, the only “ethical” thing I know to do with vintage fur (aside from wearing it) is to donate it to Coats for Cubs, where you can donate fur, that will then be used as bedding for rehabilitating animals. If every piece of vintage fur were to be donated to this cause, they would literally be drowning in fur. Most of the time, you cannot walk into a vintage clothing shop, thrift shop or antique mall without seeing fur in some manner or another. It’s everywhere. So what else is there to do? Throw it away? Throwing away perfectly good vintage fur pieces is one of the worst solutions. I wouldn’t even call it a solution. First, you’re creating waste. That’s just not good for the earth, and if you care about animals, then let’s assume you also care about the earth too. Also, don’t you think throwing it away is disrespectful to the animal? This leaves the only other solution – wearing it. Courtney concurred, “How I look at the topic of fur is more of a respect for the animal that wasn’t given a choice for it’s sacrifice for fashion. I know it’s a terrible thing to think about, and I certainly don’t want to encourage further production of fur products. But what can one do about something that’s 75 years old? I think it’s more shameful to just throw it out or cry on it, what good does that do?” Like Courtney, I don’t care for the current fur industry. I see no need for it. There is plenty of fur already out there, and it’s not difficult to find.
Some people have problems with fur with faces (Such as this purse, or my Algernon and Earnest who tagged along the the last Fur & Feathers), but I adore them because they have personality. “I take the time to think about the animal I’m wearing, and that’s also why I don’t shy from wearing furs with faces, I think it’s more honest to be able to look that animal in the face, rather than shrink away from that reality of what went down,” Courtney shared on the topic.
When you buy vintage fur (or vintage in general), you are recycling, which is good for our planet. You aren’t giving your money to the current fur trade, you’re putting it into your local economy too, which is good for your city and/or country. You’re also not supporting big-box stores who, in all likelihood, use child/slave labor. So really anti-fur people, you’re going to criticize a gal for choosing to wear fur over a sweatshop coat, purse, etc.?
Please note, comments do allow for open discussion and it is encouraged. However, please be respectful. Courtney didn’t just have this purse stolen from her, but also the contents of the purse were taken as well. Furthermore, rude, disrespectful, and anti-fur comments which provide no alternatives to wearing or donating fur will be deleted.