Angela: [voiceover] What I was thinking, as like a New Year’s resolution, is to stop getting so caught up in my own thoughts, ’cause I’m like way too introspective. I think… But what if not thinking turns me into this shallow person? I better rethink this becoming less introspective thing. Okay, so I’ll stay introspective, but I do resolve to stop doing Jordan Catalano’s homework.
I think too much. It’s true, the slightest comment – even a 140 character tweet – can provoke me into hour-long introspections, inspire mammoth blog posts. One such comment by @SianySianySiany last week set me thinking about the fur trade.
My first experience of the fur debate was at high school during the height of my Jamiroquai obsession. On a trip to The Clothes Show in Birmingham I had professed my love for a soft brown, fake fur top hat, which showed up in a green and gold hat box come Christmas morning. My best friend Chrissie had not long turned vegetarian following an exchange visit to a working farm, and scolded me for promoting fur as a viable fashion choice. We fell out, and barely spoke for the entire 40 minute bus journey “oop ‘anley”. Of course, we’d made up by the time we hit C&A…
I know how I feel about fur. I would never buy new. I do own several pieces of fake (including a brown wrap I made for a burlesque night out of a Poundland cushion cover) and a few prized pieces of vintage. Two were inherited from my Gran and one, a vintage 60s rabbit-fur jacket, was bought for £5 from a charity shop. My feelings are that I would rather use pre-70s pieces than let them go to landfill – we can’t afford not to be recycling, and back then they didn’t know better. Fur is effective: it keeps you warm and it lasts. When my Gran died she left a wardrobe of fur coats that no-one would take off our hands for fear of attack. We should be putting these to good use.
More than this, if we’re going to discuss the ethics of clothing we should be taking into account the Primark effect. My true fur jacket, on top of its green credentials, raised some much-needed pennies for the British Red Cross. I would rather get use from several rabbits who died 50 odd years ago than put pounds in the pockets of a multinational that exploits desperate children in a bid to keep costs down. You’ll pay at least double what I did for your high street, vintage-inspired faux pieces, but that will be nothing to the price of a young girl or boy’s childhood. In my opinion, if we were to ban the sale of real fur but increase the availability of vintage the problem would have a chance to balance itself out.
Of course, I’m open to hear the other side of the argument. As such, I’m about to open a debate on Dyalogues in the hope that someone takes it up and gives me a good run for my money… I’ll let you know if they do.
Meanwhile, come on my lovelies; I know this is a controversial topic… let me know your thoughts.