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As the cold chill of winter comes around like clockwork, so too does the onslaught of fur gilets, coats, scarves and hats. Faux or not, the glamour associated with a fur coat is a notion that just won’t budge. But why? Why exactly is animal cruelty synonymous with high end fashion?
Well, here’s the thing, whilst the catwalks have been inundated the past few years with luxury fur items, the high street hasn’t. The reason? The demand for real fur is actually relatively small despite what the designers might have you believe.
Admittedly the fur industry is still worth a shocking and frankly disgusting $40billion, but the audience buying into it is becoming smaller and smaller. Rather, it is an audience of just several super rich individuals whom have no limit to the amount they are willing to spend. And spend they do on whatsoever item is that seasons most expensive and most ‘luxurious’, with little to no regard for how or what it is made from because, still to this day, fur is considered a ‘luxury’, a mere symbol of wealth.
Sadly enough, fur has become so common on our catwalks that we barely bat an eyelid at it anymore. Yet the average consumer wouldn’t dare wear it themselves. In fact, Topshop, Selfridges and New Look all have fur-free policies in place. That means when we shop there, we don’t even have to make the decision between real or faux because it has already been made for us; faux for the win.
Jumping on this bandwagon two years ago was Shrimps, a faux fur company that has been a huge success at London Fashion Week ever since. You see, the difference with faux fur is the fun you can have with it; it can be short or long fur and come in bright or pastel hues whilst still maintaining the softness and luxuriousness of the real thing. Fans of the brand include it-girl and style icon Alexa Chung, a huge compliment for any designer and a sure fire way to gain the attention of the fashion industry.
Fortunately, Shrimps isn’t the only brand refusing to use real fur. For AW15, Stella McCartney launched her ‘Fur-Free Fur’ campaign which will see her fake furs labelled on the outside as ‘fur-free’. McCartney’s views stem from her concern for the environment, “it is one of the most negative impacts of the fashion industry on the earth and environmentally”, for it takes 20 times more energy to produce an animal skin coat than one from man-made or natural materials. Oh and that goes for leather jackets too, but that’s a whole other article for another day.
If that wasn’t reason enough for you to choose faux fur over real fur, faux is ten times cheaper and easier to maintain since it is made from synthetic fibres; a fact that, as a student, I will always consider a positive.