Fur at Fashion Week // 22.09.17 - Georgina Barkworth

Fur at Fashion Week // 22.09.17




The British Council of Fashion recently issued an email to all London fashion week attendee’s advising them not to wear fur due to the risk of threat from protestors. I always find that around the time of fashion week the big question of ‘should fur be allowed’ arises and even more so now veganism has become so wide spread. There are valuable arguments for both sides, as always. But for me there’s only one answer to the question. However, before I start I’d like to acknowledge that I do not support animal cruelty at all.

My question to anyone challenging fur at fashion week would be, if leather is allowed then why not fur? Essentially, the materials are obtained in the same way, from an animal, so why is there not an emphasis on leather being banned as well. Arguably, because of the association between fur and cute friendly animals, they only see fur as the issue, whereas leather seems to have become unhinged from its origin. If we were to ban fur it would be only right to also ban leather. It can also be said that, why ban fur when animal products are used in the make-up used among other products. Surely, that’s just picking and choosing what to discriminate against and only half-heartedly working towards change.

This leads on to my next issue with the exclusion of fur from fashion week. I feel that fashion is inclusive, an expression of emotion, personality and creativity. Why should we be excluding traditional materials? Why should we exclude materials that provide designers with such strong ways of expression and communication? Perhaps the way forward is to have a separate week in which animal products should not be used, that way traditions are not lost. We have an alternative fashion week for all things contemporary and alternative, so why not include the use of animal free materials in that or have a vegan fashion week.


From an economic perspective, as desirable as faux fur is, as petroleum is the basis of synthetic fur and so is not sustainable. As oil will eventually run out, we can argue that it’s economically beneficial to use a natural source of fur instead of wasting valuable resources that can be consumed by something perhaps more important. The Fur Council of Canada, for example, promotes the cruelty-free conditions and sustainability of its fur from farm-raised animals, see www.furisgreen.com.





CONVERSATION

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