Fashion’s grey area
It appears that once again, the trend for fur coats and crocodile-skin handbags in back – and unfortunately, the way in which they are obtained is still a grey area in the fashion industry.
The fashion world has long been in limbo in regards to the production of animal-skin items, with the issue going in and out of focus for many years. Activists petition it, fashion designers tip-toe around it and the rest of the world fumbles about, buying the coats or supporting the petitions (sometimes even both), not really knowing what to do.
National Geographic recently featured an article showcasing what happens behind the scenes of a fur coat: capturing animals, confining them in cages – before killing them and manufacturing their skin for fashion. But more needs to be done for the industry, with tighter laws and humane guidelines sitting at the top of the list.
So where to now? Is it a question of personal morals, national legislation or does more need to be done by those at the forefront of the fashion community? The United Kingdom, Croatia and Austria have already implemented bans on fur farming, and the Netherlands are working to follow.
However, this still leaves the issue of fur and animal skin items being purchased and worn across the globe.
The standards of national guidelines have improved dramatically since fur first came in to fashion, and many would argue it is no different to the farming of animals for food – making the debate a particular tricky one. Perhaps it needs to come down to this then: the standards, the humanity and the care that is taken leading up to production.
Humans have always, and will always use animals for both food and fashion, but if we can change the attitudes of those in the business – and those who buy – to incorporate animal welfare, then it’s a start.
By Alanah Frost