Why Are Fashion Designers Still Not Giving Up On Fur?

by: Rosie Dalton | 2 years ago | News

Image: from J.W. Anderson’s FW17 collection. Image source.

There is something about fur that just feels in poor taste now. Of course this is true ethically speaking — with over one billion animals killed for their fur and leather every year — but beyond that discomfort, fur coats actually feel pretty uncool these days too. Whether that comes down to collective consumer sentiment, the relentless trend cycle in fashion, or the increasing influence of the ethical movement; fur definitely seems to be on its way out. At least that’s what I thought. And it's a sentiment supported by the moves of major maisons like Armani, which last year announced its decision to ditch fur in its collections. As well as the increasing conversation around why fur has become a little (read: a lot) icky of late.

So why is it that designers still can’t seem to move away from fur then? Looking to the most recent fashion week collections being presented overseas, there is still quite a lot of pelts storming down the runways. Take J.W. Anderson’s collection for Fall-Winter 2017 for example, which was full of calf-skimming hides and feather-plumed skirts. The result was both shocking and, at the same time, a little out of touch. I know that we live in balmy Australia here, but do many women seriously still wear fur coats anymore? To me, it just feels a little dated.

As vegan model and animal rights activist Ruby Jean Wilson wrote on Facebook last year: fur is just "not cool anymore". So why are we still seeing it on our runways and why is the fur industry continuing to grow in terms of profits? After walking out on a fashion shoot in protest of fur, Wilson explained that a lot of this continued growth has to do with the fact that not enough people are pushing back against using animal hides in fashion. She says taht it’s important for people to "think about what they choose to support" and "to realise that if we don't stand up and say no as models/designers/creatives, things won't change."

So with that in mind then, I think we can all take a leaf out of Ruby's book and make the commitment to at least think twice before wearing fur in this day and age. After all, we're no longer living in prehistoric times and there are now so many great vegan alternatives out there instead.

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