Today, buying and wearing fur clothes is cruel and unnecessary. Every year, millions of animals are killed to produce fur globally. While a lot of fashion brands decided to go fur-free, many keep using fur to create clothing.
The mass-farming of fur is not only unethical but has also destructive effects on human health and ecosystems. Animals are enslaved, exploited, subjected to torturous treatments, and exposed to hazardous chemicals.
Brutal farming, trapping, and skinning of animals still occur too often to produce fur for fashion. This is very cruel and shocking, especially when so many ethical and sustainable alternatives are available.
Animal fur is one of the oldest forms of clothing and is viewed as warm and luxurious in fashion. It's made of animal furry hide and used to make clothing such as coats, jackets, capes, parkas, vests, and boleros.
The most common animals that are slaughtered for their fur are foxes, rabbits, seals, sables, beavers, coyotes, wolves, minks, possums, raccoons, even cats, and dogs.
No welfare standards can make fur production ethical. Removing animal skins to make fashion is unethical.
Luckily, many animal rights organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) mobilize fashion designers, brands, and celebrities to boycott fur clothes.
"Animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way."
Many well-known fashion brands and designers have stopped using real fur completely. Some of them are Versace, Furla, Armani, Calvin Klein, Gucci, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Shrimps, and Vivienne Westwood.
"Fur? I am out of that. I don’t want to kill animals to make fashion. It doesn’t feel right."
- Donatella Francesca Versace, Versace Chief Creative Officer
Even several high-street brands don't use animal fur anymore, including Topshop, Zara, Gap, French Connection, AllSaints, Hobbs, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, House of Fraser, Ted Baker, H&M and Whistles.
Animal cruelty shouldn't exist in any modern and civilized society. Real fur is no longer modern. It's on the way out and has been for years. It's a dying industry that goes as far as briding fashion students to feature animal skins in their collections.
The fashion industry can be innovative and creative without harming animals. The barbaric treatment of animals by the fur industry needs to stop.
Approximately 245 mink farms in 22 states across the United States produce about 3.1 million pelts annually, according to the Fur Commission.
Animals on fur farms live their entire lives confined, trapped, and caged. They are even beaten, electrocuted, or skinned alive.
China is still the world's largest exporter of fur. And Chinese fur farms aren't as heavily regulated as they should be.
“85% of the fur industry’s skins come from animals raised in battery cages in fur farms, where animals are deprived of the quality of life.”
- Animals Australia, a leading animal protection organization
The manufacturing of fur clothes also requires very hazardous substances, including acids, bleaches, and toxic dyes, used to prevent putrefaction up to unsafe levels.
Fur farming is responsible for the most common form of water pollution in the United States, according to the Humane Society. Millions of pounds of feces are produced annually and animal wastes contain high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus.
The fur industry is greedy and cruel. It resorts to unethical and unsustainable production methods to make fur as cheap as possible and maintain high profits.
Hopefully, the future of fashion is going to be fur-free. More clothing brands and retailers need to commit to more responsible and ethical sourcing policies.
A cultural shift happening in our society and with it, the rise of conscious consumerism. Humane fabrics are in high demand and the ethical fashion movement is growing.
As a consumer, you have the power to drive change in the industry. Stop buying and wearing fur clothes. Avoid companies that still use animal products or by-products for clothing.
Here are 22 revolting fashion brands that still use real animal fur:
- Alexander McQueen
- Alexander Wang
- Arthur Galan
- Canada Goose
- Giambattista Valli
- J. Mendel
- Karl Lagerfeld
- Lisa Ho
- Louis Vuitton
- Marc Jacobs
- Roberto Cavalli
- Salvatore Ferragamo
- Yves Saint Laurent
There are too many fashion brands that use animal fur to list them all. It's shockingly disgusting that clothing brands still engage in such barbaric practices for vanity and profits.
As consumers, we should be aware of how the impact of our purchasing decisions, how and where the products we buy are being made. With a bit of research, we can prevent the terrible abuse going on in farms and factories around the world.
Luckily, more fashion designers and brands are adopting ethical and sustainable practices. They use ethically made and environmentally friendly materials to create beautiful and functional apparel.
Let's support companies that don't exploit animals at all. It's the more ethical choice for animals and environmental protection.
All animals want to live a good life just like we do. It's easy to say that we should ban fur but it's not an easy issue to solve. People are still relying on fur farms to earn enough money for them and their families, especially in developing countries.
Progress has been made but it's not nearly enough. Luckily, more publications such as Vogue, Marie Claire, The Guardian, Glamour, and Eluxe now cover ethical and sustainable fashion.
Let's hope for a better textile and apparel industry in the coming years, a fashion world that moves away from mindless consumerism and protects the environment, where all humans and animals are cared for.
About the Author: Alex Assoune
Alex Assoune (MS) is a global health and environmental advocate. He founded Panaprium to inspire others with conscious living, ethical, and sustainable fashion. Alex has worked in many countries to address social and environmental issues. He speaks three languages and holds two Master of Science degrees in Engineering from SIGMA and IFPEN schools.