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Fur Free, Yay or Nay?

We explore the animal rights issue after Gucci goes fur free

By Cora Hilts

Luxury fashion recently made a big announcement – Gucci has gone fur free. As a fashion label that has often included fur as a mainstay in its Fall Winter collections, this came as big news to many. To others, it was a long overdue commitment to avoiding unnecessary animal cruelty. As a sustainable retailer, the issue of fur inevitably comes up in a lot of our conversations so we wanted to post our stance on this material in fashion.


The first thing I always say is that the question of fur is complicated because there are two different ways of looking at it – ethics and sustainability here are two very different outlooks with this. And whilst we at Rêve En Vert are huge proponents of animal rights, it is interesting to look at both sides of the story even if we tend to lean towards one more so than the other.



In terms of sustainability, fur is one of the most eco-friendly fabrics out there. It doesn’t need loads of chemical treatment, it’s an entirely natural material and it is stylish forever. There are some places in Denmark for instance that pride themselves on their sustainable fur farms – the animals are treated well and killed with compassion, and then every other part of them is repurposed so no waste is occurring. The products that are then created are natural, biodegradable and long lasting – which is sustainability personified.


There is a very interesting company that we have looked into called Petit Mort which uses roadkill to make luxury fur jackets and accessories from animals that have been killed accidentally on highways. Around 1 million animals are killed on American roads every day (or approximately 365 million animals a year). The fur industry, on the other hand, kills 50 million animals per year just for the use of fashion. Petit Mort decided that these animals should not have died in vain, their pelts could be used and at the same time it would be an ethical way to meet the inevitable demand for fur that fashion so often creates. To us, this is one of the most interesting and sustainable companies we have come across to date but in all honesty it’s very hard to know if one should sell fur on an ethical retail site (I would love to hear your thoughts on this!).

But then there is the ethical question that inevitably comes into play here. How can we be animal lovers, vegetarians, conscious consumers etc. and even think of wearing fur? It’s funny because people rarely have the same reaction to leather pieces (that’s an editorial for another day), but there is something very tangible and visceral about wearing a dead animal when you put on fur. It’s somehow more blatant. So back to the Gucci announcement. Given that was using so much fur that wasn’t necessarily regulated, I think this is a great decision and a great step forward. “Respect for animals is increasingly rooted in people’s values and the big names in fashion are gradually introducing policies of social responsibility in this direction,” says Simone Pavesi of LAV.


Given the fact that a staggering one hundred million animals a year still suffer for the fur industry, we at Rêve En Vert have taken the stance not to sell fur at the moment as it would encourage the idea that it is still en vogue to wear it. Whilst there are still fur farms in the world that use incredibly barbaric ways or raising, skinning and killing animals, it just doesn’t seem right to condone it. That being said, we do see the staying power of fur in its own unique way and encourage our consumers who are looking for it to always stick to vintage or truly looking into where the brand you are going to buy from sources its fur. If the information is even slightly diluted or confusing, it’s safe to assume the fur isn’t from the standards it should be. Another thing that you should avoid is buying even faux fur from the High Street or fast fashion stores as more often than not this is real fur that’s been badly obtained as it’s a much cheaper alternative to producing synthetics.


So whilst we acknowledge and can see both sides of the debate, in our opinion until fur as an industry is entirely regulated, fashion is able to educate people on where their fur comes from and vintage sources are full utilised, as a company we will be staying out of it! Stay tuned for our thoughts on leather next.