Our little team at Scarf Room are dedicated animal lovers and we have several crazy dogs and cats between us. And so when we are buying new stock, we always ensure that any trims are made from faux, not real, fur. This happened recently with our new collection of faux fur pashminas and ponchos which come with a fun pom-pom trim. The quality of the pom poms was so high that it threw us a little, but a quick test revealed that they are (reassuringly) fake.
It got me thinking.
When DID fashion fall out of love with real fur?
“We’d rather go naked than wear fur”.
Originally worn for practical purposes, real animal fur became popular for the status it conferred on the wearer. In fact, in England between the 1300s and 1600s, certain furs could only be worn by the noble elite and by royalty. Fast forward to the early 1900s, real animal skins became synonymous with the glamorous Hollywood era. They were the latter-day bling worn by those who had “arrived” to show off their wealth.
Thankfully, the tide started to turn in the 1970s. Real fur, once a symbol of prestige, now became a target for animal rights activism. The real fur trade was identified with animal cruelty and international legislation, such as the Endangered Species Act of 1973, was introduced.
The anti-fur movement really began to speak to a huge new audience when PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) featured models Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford posing nude in its 1994 campaign. Who will ever forget the slogan, “We’d rather go naked than wear fur.”?
Fur v. fake
Following continued awareness and several anti-fur protests, an increasing number of fashion designers also began to eschew real for faux fur on their catwalks. Real fur was rapidly beginning to feel very outdated and its ethical replacement began to disrupt one of the world’s most powerful industries.
The industry heavyweight, Ralph Lauren, dropped fur in 2006 declaring, “Fur has never been an integral part of our design strategy as we had only used it on a limited basis as an accent in some collections. We are publicly announcing this decision because the use of fur has been under review internally and we feel that the time is right to take this action.”
Then in 2015, Stella McCartney, a passionate advocate for ethical fashion, unveiled “fur-free fur”. This was faux fur made from synthetic fibres that felt luxe but promoted the brand’s cruelty-free philosophy.
This was followed in March 2018, by Donatella Versace who announced that her family’s eponymous brand would be using faux fur in favour of real fur. “Fur? I am out of that. I don’t want to kill animals to make fashion. It doesn’t feel right.“
As the fashion industry’s love affair with fur continued to falter, the faux industry became more and more sophisticated. Gucci’s CEO Marco Bizzari told Vogue, “Technology is now available that means you don’t need to use fur. The alternatives are luxurious. There is just no need.”
So the burning question is:
Will fake fur ever replace real animal skin?
It would be naive to think that fake fur could ever replace real animal skin completely. There will always certain consumers who demand the real thing. However, faux fur seems to represent the modern era. Here is a product that is more socially conscious, not implicated in animal suffering AND without the huge price tag.
What’s not to like?
Faux Fur Pashminas and Ponchos
At Scarf Room, we are committed to never knowingly using real fur in the products we sell. Our lovely new collection of faux fur pashminas and ponchos are a fun and cruelty-free addition to our range. They also add a layer of warmth and a splash of colour when the weather turns cold. And they will bring a smile to your face.
You could wear one of our faux fur pashminas and ponchos for lunch out, shopping, travelling, walking the dog, winter walks. They also look great dressed up. How gorgeous do they look?
And, like us, you will be happy in the knowledge that they are FUN, NOT FUR!