Real fur? Yeah, not cool (I’m a faux fur girl all the way). But are you endorsing real fur if you buy goods from a retailer that happens to sell some real fur products…?
I’ve been thinking about the real fur vs fake fur debate today as I had a mini dilemma this morning: Is it acceptable to buy products from a company that sells some real fur products?
It goes without saying that I do not buy or wear – or aspire to buy or wear – real fur. I won’t go into my reasons for not wanting to wear it as I’m sure the majority of people reading this are anti-real fur as well and share my feelings about why I don’t.
However, this week I was contacted by a company rep who, after I replied to an email offering me a gifted item, emailed back to ask if I wanted the real fur or the faux fur version (we’re talking a fur trim on something, not a full coat here).
And to be honest, I was absolutely horrified at first. What I initially wanted to reply was Why on EARTH would I want the real fur version?! I even have a no-fur policy on my Work With Me page.
So I went straight on the website and looked at the item I had picked out: there was nothing about real fur, in fact there was no description of the material content at all. The only slight giveaway was that on the “Shop” dropdown menu, it listed one version as “faux fur XXXs” [I don’t want to give away what the items are at this stage] and the other version of the same item had a general description but didn’t mention real fur. This I hadn’t noticed at first, I think because I’d initially typed in a description in the search box to look for a particular item before I was asked the real or faux question.
The “do I buy from retailers that sell real fur” dilemma
This made me think: if I’m against the buying or the wearing of real fur, is it okay to buy (or in my case, work with) a retailer that happens to also sell real fur products?
One shop I don’t EVER go into or shop from: Harrods. I have various reasons:
I worked for a luxury concession in Selfridges in the 90s and I was offered a transfer to Harrods for more money, but I turned it down because I’d heard how appallingly they [=ahem= Mohamed Al Fayed…] treated their staff – it may well be VERY different now, but hey, I hold retail grudges.
Also, more importantly than my 23-year-old grudge aimed at an unsavoury 88-year-old businessman, was the fact that they STILL sell real fur products. Thankfully Selfridges stopped selling real fur in 2005, as did Liberty. Net-a-Porter announced – better late than never – in June 2017 that they would no longer sell real fur products.
I rarely buy designer goods. Correct that – I NEVER buy designer goods. So I don’t go into large designer-heavy department stores very often, but I’ll always pop into Selfridges and get something if I’m down that end of Oxford Street. I know that I’m buying from a retailer that doesn’t sell (and therefore doesn’t promote the use of) real fur.
In order to make up my mind, I did what any girl does: I asked my girlfriends for their thoughts. Whilst I didn’t really get a 100% straight answer from any of them (to be fair we’re all busy ladies!), it did create a mini-debate and a few interesting points were raised in our Whatsapp group. For example, one pointed out to me that a brand I had worked with last year sold many real fur products, including full-on mink fur coats for over £3,000.
Yep – I was horrified. It was summer and I obviously didn’t stumble across anything fur.
Therein lies the dilemma: Assuming we’re anti-real fur, should we search the site of every retailer we’re about to buy from to see if they sell real fur products? Are you effectively “supporting” the selling of real fur if you buy other things from them?
As a blogger with a no-fur policy, am I a hypocrite if I work with a brand that (unknowingly to me) sells some items with real fur trims?
The faux fur ethics vs environment debate
Two things I read recently that opened my eyes: Anna of Anna’s Island Style wrote a post last year about how the manufacture of faux fur is really bad for the environment, which brings us onto the ethics vs environment issue that we have to weigh up. (It’s a really interesting post, don’t miss it.) And then, horrifyingly, it was reported in the autumn that some of the products sold in the UK that are advertised as faux fur are actually real fur… WTAF?!
I don’t really know where I’m going with this, as I haven’t yet made up my mind about the question I asked in the opening paragraph. I’m going to ask the company rep that contacted me about their fur policy and see what they say, and then I’ll decide what to do.
We shall see…!
KEEPING IN MIND THAT MY QUESTION IS ABOUT BUYING GOODS FROM RETAILERS THAT HAPPEN TO SELL REAL FUR GOODS AS WELL (NOT THE ACTUAL ETHICS OF WEARING REAL FUR AND FUR FARMS, I’M STARTING THIS DISCUSSION BY SAYING IT’S A GIVEN THAT THAT’S UNETHICAL AND PLAIN WRONG), WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB!
So all that’s left to say is – I’ve shared my thoughts/stories/tuppence-worth this week, now it’s time to share yours… LET’S GET THIS [LINK UP] PARTY STARTED!
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