Although most people in England no longer wear fur (and most people don’t agree with the industry), it’s still legal to sell fur (not legal to make it, thanks to a campaign by Compassion in World Farming which banned fur farms some years ago). We’re not talking here about people who kill animals for meat in tribal cultures (and wear fur to keep warm). This is sad but nature (like polar bears killing seals).
So what happens if you used to wear fur (or you have a granny’s old fur coat stashed in the attic, gathering dust?) For a start, it’s best to pass it on, as any animal fibre (fur, wool etc) is liable to get eaten by moths. But rather than throw it away, you can donate it to your local wildlife rescue (they can cut the coats up into large squares, and give them to orphaned baby wildlife, who then snuggle up with a ‘surrogate mum’ as the nearest thing). Many little critters who are unsettled and squealing, often settle down and sleep, once they’re snuggled up to real fur.
reasons not to wear real fur
The fur fashion industry is immense, yet most fur is from farms where there are little animal welfare laws, so animals are often clubbed and electrocuted and even skinned alive. Leghold traps often trap pets and other native wildlife, and the fur is then treated with chemicals, so it’s not natural, despite what industry says. And DNA tests on some ‘fake fur trim’ (and those novelty fur ornaments like rabbits) have found that sometimes it’s actually real fur, to eek out extra profit.
First of all, never buy new fur (and sign the petition to ban UK fur sales – many online stores including Amazon still set it). If you run a shop, sign up with Fur Free Retailer, then you can display its fox logo in your window, to let customers know they can safely shop, with guarantee of no fur (hidden or otherwise). The R-value of good fake fur is the same, as it’s individual fibres that trap heat (whether from fur or otherwise). If you want a really warm coat, just find one with dense long-hair fibres and longer length.
Others are not fans of wearing fake fur, as they believe it encourages the fashion. But like it or not, there are certain sectors of society who still think nothing of wearing real fur, so for now, alternatives are needed. The only caveat with fake fur is that most are made from polyester. Most items are not washable so use an eco-dry cleaner (that uses steam over PERC chemicals) or for washable items, use a microplastic catcher (to avoid synthetic fibres breaking off in the machine and going into the sea).
donate sheltersuits (not fur) to homeless people
Donating fur (or any large coat or blanket) to a homeless person may sound like a good idea to help keep people warm. But most shelters say not only can they get mouldy, but carrying about heavy coats and blankets is often cumbersome for people living on the streets. Far better is to buy someone a Sheltersuit (a wind-waterproof jacket with optional sleeping bag that’s lightweight to carry and wear). Read more innovative ideas to help homeless people (and their dogs).