If and as you will continue to read my blog, you will notice one thing. I wear real fur. I acknowledge that the industry can be a horrible one, and fights against basic animal rights. This is a difficult post to write, and I really went through deep mirroring of my own opinions and feelings around the topic. A friend of mine said well that it’s important to be able to discuss even difficult choices, and open them up to others. How do I reason my actions, when I know this industry is one to harm animals?
Having taken my time learning about the clothing industries, it has become very clear that issues that are grey can’t be simply but to boxes of black and white. Even if large companies would do everything in their power to ban child labour and inhumane working hours, the production chain has grown to be so complicated that they have very scarce possibilities to actually monitor the production process. Not to mention even knowing in which factories their products are being produced in. Even though the final product would be locally produced, the subparts are often transported from underdeveloped countries.
Boots/Givenchy, Leather Pants/Zara, Bag/Saint Laurent, Dress/Max Mara, Vest/MacLauren
I mentioned human rights issues above. Another issue is the one concerning the environment.
Haven’t we all seen the pictures of polluted rivers, smog, and the plastic inferno of the pacific? The sea creatures which have their bellies full of particles that don’t belong there? Items that are being transported, are also being packed and shipped. Usually every single item individually in their own boxes, plastic sheets and labels. The more transportation is needed to put together a single item, the larger the amount of packaging material waste. Then a thing to discuss are the cargo carriers that dump their vaste directly to the oceans, the developing countries harbors that often enjoy little-to-non supervision of waste disposal, and of course the maximal pollution caused by air cargo.
I live in the north, and the temperature drops here for at least 6-7 moths every single year.
The temperatures can get to as cold as -30c – I need to keep myself warm. The fur pieces that I own are always either second hand or well crafted and of highest quality, made of certified furs. With this I ensure that they will hold up to being used throughout the years, hopefully following to someone else after my ownership. Having a piece of clothing that can last from one generation to another, from mother to daughter, is rare. Actually, the only examples that come to mind are jewelry, purses, and well, fur. Not having to shop for a warm winter coat every few years is rather ecological as well as economical. Fur, as a natural material, breathes. It’s adaptable to different temperatures, and rarely get’s too hot or cold. Fur also decomposes back to the nature if the garment is wished to be disposed. Plastic, polyester garments don’t.
In the end of the day I think moral choices come down to choosing which values are important to you.
And I’m not talking about negative values here. Nowadays it’s very hard to find an industry that wouldn’t harm any group of people, animals or nature. I’m talking about what makes us choose one “right” from many wrongs. Personally, I evaluate longevity, durability, adaptability. Things of quality which last and will not easily go out of style. Things that I will enjoy using, wearing, not just something that will hang in the closet for ages. One thing I also root for is local producing, minimizing the pollution of both the air and seas caused by transportation. As the fabric industry has to a large part moved off to third world countries, fur is still largely being produced and crafted in Europe.
It’s a tough topic, and I don’t wish in any way to minimize the opinions of the counterparts. I am not here to create juxtaposition between choices, but I want you to challenge your choices and values around the subject just as I have. Everyone’s life is a balance of their choices, and those choices need to be made. These are my reasons behind the decision of wearing fur. One good deed doesn’t diminish any bad actions, but usually behind all consuming choices is a whole lot of background to be investigated.