Faux fur or Vintage fur?

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I am writing this in a week of sub-zero temperatures, when the only appropriate outdoor outfit consists of layers of thermals, grandmas woollen socks and as much furry padding as is possible.

As a result, I look like a combination of a very well known Michelin Man and a fluffy yeti. However for this shoot I decided to say farewell to my cozy unfashionable layers and rather freeze for one hour in which I was graciously cranky. Yes even the big woollen coat, Uggs nor a vintage furry collar didn’t help and it seems unlikely that any of us will be shedding our winter coats in the immediate future.

If there was a mild winter might fake and real furry designs look absurd; but instead, as blizzards swept across Europe last month, fur sprouted everywhere, in a profusion of mittens, earmuffs, trapper hats, capes, boleros, gilets and coats. I am not a fan of real fur (even though I am wearing a vintage fur collar, which is going in the trash any time now), but one can get tangled up in debate – is it more green to wear vintage fur, for example, given the ethical credentials of recycled clothes? The ongoing question was in my mind for a long time. I think even though it’s old and stinky it’s a pity to throw it away. Vintage fur is usually thought of as the gray area between fashion and the anti-fur movement. The case for vintage fur has always been that it already exists. “No new animals need to be killed to make it. Further more, it’s energy efficient. Even up-cycling vintage, or takes up less energy and resources than faux fur. It takes a gallon of oil to make just 3 faux furs. Leaving aside the toxic gas emissions from making it, faux fur not even biodegradable. Destroying real fur, which is biodegradable, contradicts the reduce, reuse, recyle mantra of eco-conscious living.” However from my point of view the bigger problem here is what kind message are you sending on the streets by wearing it. You are saying it’s ok to wear fur even though it’s vintage.

Unfortunately, as I sit writing and thinking about this, I’m beginning to feel too chilly to respond any further, despite wearing several layers of, well – decidedly unsexy vests and woollies. If I had a Nina Ricci’s glamorous leopard faux fur coat or Donna Karan’s faux fur-satin robe, I’d be glad of them; but, as it is, I’m going to wrap up in a fashionable duvet, and pray for the coming of spring…

Photographer Žiga Zupančič – ziga.zup@gmail.com