As a fashion designer this topic is very close to my heart, I have great compassion and love for all animals and I am aware that this is a touchy subject.
I have not always been so compassionate about animals. And I understand people that don't care or don't want to know. How I feel and what I believe today has been a total transformation due to people I have met and literature I have read. I even look back and remember when I didn't care, where I wanted to own a fur coat as a teenager. I recall one day going to my grandmother's cellar and seeing a white cotton garment bag hanging there, I realized it was sewn shut, so like any other child (about 8 years old), my curiosity was to try to open it, however as soon as I tried to feel what was in it, I ran upstairs and avoided that area of the cellar for a long time. Seriously I thought something dead was inside of there :-) (and actually my thought was right). Without seeing what was in the garment bag, the touch alone gave me shivers. I finally asked my grandma what was in there and she told me a mink fur coat and that she will never ever take it out and that she was embarrassed. Since I was quite young I just accepted that answer. As I got older I wanted to have the fur coat I begged her to take it out I wanted to see it and wear it, but she was firm, that the coat would not be touched. To this date I have not asked her the story behind the coat or her emotions and believes. I believe she was given that coat as a present from my grandfather, at a time when fur was acceptable, it was a luxurious gift. Since times have changed and my grandma being the most humble person I know, does not agree with fur anymore (if ever really). So to this date the fur coat remains in the cellar for whatever reason, I think she does not know what to do with it or would rather think it does not exist.
If you also have a fur coat hanging around (or any fur for that matter) there is a way to redeem yourself and at least in the US get a full tax deduction for its value. You can donate your fur to many charities that use them for wildlife rehabilitation, here some great organizations:
On the topic of ECO FASHION and winter approaching I would also like to share some information about real fur vs faux (fake) fur.
Every magazine I see (for fall/winter) is featuring some designer with fur, either fur coats or "only" trims, fur lined boots and so on.... Have you ever wondered where that fur comes from? Is it necessary to us? Why real fur and not fake? There are (marketing) people that try to make us believe that fur is "GREEN" or that fake fur has a larger environmental impact. There is always two sides to every story and Canada has built their country on fur trade, if you lived up north where it is freaking cold and you hunt for your own survival and make your own fur garments than there is a place for fur, however what I am talking about is the mass production of fur for the fashion industry.
Mink fur has 5 times more the environmental impact than faux fur
Cats & Dogs
Did you know that cats and dogs, our companion animals that we love so much, are used for the fashion industries coats, fur trims or accessories? How do you know? Well in Canada you won't since there is no labelling laws, however in some countries such as Italy, Denmark, Greece, Belgium, Switzerland and Australia have banned Cat & Dog fur import. We as consumers have an impact, since we have a choice to buy or not, if you don't buy there won't be a demand for it. Just because we don't see it, doesn't mean it's not happening, your nice parka with that fur trimmed hood may as well have been your beloved pet.
Here an article from the Humane Society International:
There is enough graphic videos on the internet about fur farms (very graphic but very true) and if you want to educate yourself you just have to google.
About Canadian Fur