Fur Free and Fabulous

Before Anna Wintour was editor-in-chief of American Vogue, she worked at British Vogue for many years.  The main difference between the two Vogues? The British Vogue has had a longstanding policy against running fur ads and featuring fur garments, unlike its “evil sister”, American Vogue, which promotes fur and encourages designers to work with fur.  Like stated before, Wintour brought fur to American Vogue.  

Because of the increasing awareness and the growing distaste for fur, many designers have slowly transitioned from using fur, to not using fur in their products.  Peta.org has a list of fur-free retailers, designers, and brands at http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/fur_fashion/tips/fur-free_shopping.html

One designer who is very prominent in the fashion industry is Stella McCartney, who is a huge advocate for animals rights and the elimination of fur in fashion.  In February of 2012, Anna Wintour attended her Special Presentation at 13 North Audley Street during London Fashion Week, which was surprising for many because McCartney has publicly criticized Wintour’s use of fur and has also done many documentaries where she has gone into fur farms to expose the truth.  This past fall, McCartney released her fall line themed around “Bambi”.  This whole concept of the line was to get consumers to go back to their childhood memories where they saw animals as their “friends”, and not “food” or “clothing accessories”.  

In “E: The Environmental Magazine”, author Starre Vartan talked about the importance of the Born Free USA fashion competition.  This company, Born Free USA and E Magazine collaborate every year to put on a fur free fashion show, to encourage designers that they can be successful and “high-end” without using fur, and to encourage consumers to not buy fur garments.  The fashion show is a hit every year, one that is featured all over the news and features designers in Vogue magazine who are anti-fur.  This year, the winner was chosen by a celebrity panel of judges including two time Emmy award winner Julia Barr of “All my Children”, editor of the Environmental Magazine Brita Belli, costume designer Marina Draghici, Princess Diana’s wedding dress designer Elizabeth Emanuel, and “Fashion Police’ host Kelly Osbourne.  

I would encourage more of these fur-free fashion shows and instead of doing them annually, they should be done for every season.  A new collection for each season to encourage beautiful designs that are fur- free.

It seems as if more and more designers are understanding the cruelty of fur and are trying to promote fur-free garments in a fun, creative way.  Many times, people think that throwing images in your face is the best way to get the message across, but this way is better because it encourages people to think in a different way.  Wintour attends almost every important fashion show, so persuading her to attend a fashion show such as this one will get her to see the clothes so she can feature these upcoming designers in Vogue.  

3rd Annual Fur Free Fashion Competition

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Trim is Distasteful

Vogue Magazine Feature Article

In Vogue’s latest September issue, this article was featured titled, “Fur- Embellished Accessories”, which features fur trim that can “transform even the most traditional accessories into something fantastical”.  Like stated before, fur trim poses a greater threat to animals than a full length fur coat, because factory workers don’t use the “leftovers” of the animal, but rather skins another animal just to make a small collar or boot trim.  Anna Wintour picks everything goes into the magazine, so she allowed this to run in the magazine, therefore encouraging people to buy these products, encouraging them to support the cruel fur industry.

Products in this article include :

ROBERTO CAVALLI, Shearling-trimmed suede bandage boots, $1.650

ALEXANDER WANG, Polina goat fur and leather boots, $925

MARNI, Goat Hair leather bag, $1,500

Notice the price of these items.  They are expensive.  They are luxury items.  They could have easily been replicated with faux fur instead of using real fur.  Wintour decided to put these into the magazine, therefore continuing the encouraging the demand for fur.

Major furriers are keeping their industry alive by pushing fur trim on such items as bikinis, blankets, jeans, scarves, skirts, sweaters, purses, vests, and shoes.  The Fur Information Council of America (FICA) reveals the fur trim market to be worth nearly $500 million annually.

There is an easy way to stop this: STOP BUYING ITEMS WITH FUR ON IT.  The consumer needs to make the change and realize the cruelty in the process.  If we stop buying fur items, designers won’t feel the need to keep producing it because it won’t be considered a luxury item anymore.  Also, the price is ridiculously expensive.

Fashion God is Fashion Hell

It’s not a shock that Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of American Vogue magazine, is a fashion icon and an inspiration to hundreds of high- end fashion designers.  She predicts trends and says what’s “in” and what’s “out”.  Fur was never in fashion magazines until Wintour put it on the cover.  Ever since then, designers started using fur and fur was seen as a luxury item; an item that everyone who was anybody just HAD to have.

“Fashion means a lot of different things to a lot of different people.  Vogue is there to report on the fashion industry.  Fur is part of fashion and we will continue to report on it as long as that is the case.”- Wintour

Wintour believes that fur is a such a vital part of fashion and is a symbol of luxury and wealth.  For those people of that status, they should be able to wear what they want to represent in the most expensive way.

But…is the price of a luxury fur coat really worth the suffering of millions of helpless animals? Perhaps Wintour is either blinded or dumb to the fact that all of this is going on.  The truth? Faux fur looks the same, feels the same, is inexpensive, and gives animals the chance to live.

In “60 minutes of outtakes: Anna Wintour on Fur”, Wintour defends the fur trade, saying that if fur is a part of fashion, a Vogue is a fashion magazine, she’ll continue to keep putting it on the cover.

This picture is an exaggeration of Wintour’s outfits, but as cartoon-ish as it may be, it holds a lot of truth about the number of different animals used and the way in which it is worn.

The Facts About Fur

“Personally, I have it on my back”- Anna Wintour, Vogue editor-in-chief

Born Free USA is a national animal advocacy nonprofit organization whose mission is to end the suffering of wild animals in captivity, rescue individual animals in need, protect wildlife, and encourage compassionate conservation globally.  They have released these shocking statistics about fur used in fashion.  If people didn’t see the cruelty in the fur trade before, they’ll see it now.

1. More than 50 million animals are violently killed for fashion every year.

2. Methods used to kill animals for their fur include gassing, electrocution, and neck breaking.  Most of the animals are skinned alive because it makes the fur more fresh.  They are then throw to the side, left to die slowly in a heap of rotting, half- alive carcasses.

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3. Neither fur nor fur trim is a byproduct of the meat industry, meaning that fur isn’t what is “left-over” from an animal that was skilled for its meat. Fur comes from animals who are factory-farmed or trapped purely for fashion.

4. The fur trim market is an equal, if not greater, threat to animals than is the making of fur coats. Again, fur trim is not what’s “left over” from making full-length fur coats. Thousands of animals are killed simply to provide trimming effects for fashion.

5. Currently, there are no federal laws providing protection for the millions of animals held in these factory-like farms. In fact, New York is the only state in which electrocuting animals anally and genitally is illegal.

6. Eighty-five percent of the fur industry’s skins come from animals who were captive on fur factory farms.

7. There are no penalties for people who abuse animals on fur farms in China, which is the world’s largest fur exporter supplying more than half of the finished garments in the United States.

8. Animals on fur farms are prevented from acting on their most basic instinctual behaviors, which causes them tremendous suffering. Even animals who have been caged since birth feel the need to move around, groom themselves, stretch their limbs, and exercise. All confined animals suffer from intense boredom—some so severely that they begin displaying neurotic behaviors such as pacing, turning in endless circles, self-mutilation, and even cannibalism.

–FurKills.org, PETA “9 Shocking Facts About Fur”, Born Free USA “Keep Wildlife in the Wild”