Ring the alarm! Beyonce Knowles got caught wearing fur!
The fashion world was all atwitter last week when Beyonce stepped out for dinner in a jacket that appeared to have real fur trim on the collar. Critics cried “hypocrite!” after she and husband Jay-Z publicly announced a switch to veganism to cleanse their bodies and their spirits.
Days earlier, rapper and music producer Pharrell Williams revealed he regretted wearing an ankle-length fur coat to promote a clothier’s store opening.
Those who wear fur come under fire for donning products that promote animal abuse. And yet the Winter 2013 fashion lines were awash with pelts. Models on the runways from London to Paris and from New York to Milan were dressed in furry articles from head to toe.
Even Swedish retailer H&M hasn’t dodged criticism. It took heat recently for selling unethical angora products. According to the company’s news release, it has stopped production on the items until its representatives can ensure no animal is treated badly.
“We only allow products made of angora rabbit hair from farms with good animal husbandry,” the release says. “Plucking is not acceptable in accordance with our product policy.”
So what’s the average fashionista to do?
Of course, we want to ensure no creature is harmed in the creation of our pieces, but our choices seem limited.
If you’ve ever slipped on a fur coat – even if just for a moment – you’ll know it’s warm and comfortable. It protects you from harsh weather conditions, like blustery winter days. It feels like luxury, glamour and high fashion.
When you’re shopping for fur, whether you’re aiming for a capelet, a full-length coat or an accessory, looks for products made with animals that provide a food source in addition to their pelts.
We can also look at products of animals that are a plentiful and sustainable resource. This would include animals that are trapped in the wild, including New Zealand possum and rabbit or Canadian coyote.
However, almost 85 per cent of the world’s fur products come from animals raised on farms which have been known to fall to objectionable standards.
Fur farms, especially angora rabbit and mink, have come under fire for inhumane habitats and euthanasia practices.
The International Fur Trade Federation (IFF) helps fur shoppers look for the right products with the Origin Assured (OA) label, launched in 2007. The IFF wants to assure customers the animals have been treated humanely and the fur comes from approved species sourced from approved countries.
The IFF promotes strict codes of practice that often exceed established and accepted standards for animals that are both trapped and farmed for fur. The OA label lets you know the fur has come from a country where welfare regulations or standards governing fur production are in force.
Ultimately, fur farmers should aim to raise their animals in the healthiest and most humane conditions. Healthier animals produce the finest furs and that’s good business practice, in addition to ethical behavior.
An Ecological Choice
Fur, unlike its petroleum-based faux sister, is a natural, renewable and biodegradable resource. A quality product can be recycled or restyled to be handed to the next generation as an heirloom.
And despite its luxury and longevity, fur products have become less expensive for the average shopper. The boom in demand has allowed manufacturers and clothiers to bring their prices down to a more affordable range.
You can shop for fine Australian rabbit, gorgeous American mink or lush Canadian beaver. Just make sure the manufacturer sources the pelts from reputable, expert vendors to ensure you’re wearing a product that was created ethically and humanely. At Greatest Stores.com we carry soft natural rabbit fur jackets, capelets and vests.