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Forget fur – is it time to stop wearing wool?

Forget fur – is it time to stop wearing wool?

While anti-fur protesters were busy mobbing London fashion week earlier this month, Ingrid Newkirk, the co-founder and president of Peta, was otherwise engaged. She was in Israel, “leading a 30,000-strong march through the streets against live export”, she says. She enunciates the words slowly, with emphasis, as if this is the really important story. Because for Newkirk, fur is all but dealt with – “a minority issue”. By which she means it is worn by “older people … ladies of the evening and the occasional foreign visitor from an unenlightened area”. Nothing to worry about there, she says, as neither sex workers nor the elderly are “a good advertisement”.

But surely this is wrong. Despite Yoox Net-a-Porter’s announcement in June that it would no longer sell fur, designers are still using it liberally. One designer recently matter-of-factly enumerated the animals that had gone into a single garment. The most photographed shoe of 2016 was a Gucci kangaroo loafer, and the same house is currently selling a mink coat for £25,000.

If a full fur coat has become a rare sight, the fur industry has trimmed its pelts accordingly and encouraged a thriving market in accessories. This is stealth fur, fur for people who would never wear a coat, but consider a fluffy keyring harmless – or easier to hide. How else to explain the proliferation of fox-fur iPhone cases (£400), mink Prada bag straps (£730), raccoon-trimmed parkas and even Anya Hindmarch mink fur stickers with which to decorate your bag (at £250, let’s hope the adhesive is strong)? Nor is this solely a high-fashion trend. A raccoon pompom hat costs as little as £20.

“What we call ‘a little bit of tat’,” Newkirk says, disapprovingly. She clips the words, as if this is a matter of taste rather than ethics, which seems surprising until she slips, all in the same well-spoken voice, into details of cruelty to animals to make any listener flinch.

Take this story about Beyoncé. The musician is top of Newkirk’s fantasy list of celebrities to front a Peta campaign, but she has proved resistant, even though Newkirk sent her and Jay-Z a faux-fur bedspread as a wedding gift and received “a beautiful letter back”. To continue the courtship, Newkirk arranged for a Petaemployee to bid for lunch with Beyoncé in a charity auction.

Along went Hannah from the Peta office in Norfolk, Virginia, and settled down across the table from Beyoncé and Beyoncé’s mother. “And at the lunch,” Newkirk continues, “Hannah brought out a little video and said, ‘I wanted to show you something,’ and showed Beyoncé a video of raccoon dogs being anally electrocuted.” Hannah from the Peta office must have lost Beyoncé at anal electrocution because Beyoncé’s mother apparently promptly whisked her daughter out the restaurant, and Peta was later refunded its bid money.

Newkirk flits from fur to dog leather to the new frontier – feathers.

“Look,” Newkirk says, standing up to show off her new quilted coat by a company called Save the Duck. It looks and feels as if there is down inside, but no, she says, it is stuffed with recycled bottle tops. She is equally excited about Vegea, a new wine leather made from grape skins; pineapple leather; and Stella McCartney’s advances in “skin-free skin”.

Oh, and there is another new frontier. Last winter, Alicia Silverstone stripped off for an update of Peta’s seminal “I’d rather go naked …” advert, but this time the slogan was: “I’d rather go naked than wear wool.”

Wool? Well, they’re never going to win that one.

“Oh, we will!” Newkirk exclaims. “Young people, they’re right on top of it. They understand it. And sheep are so gentle, they’re so dear!” Last year, secret footage that Peta had gathered from sheep-shearing huts in Victoria, Australia, helped to bring about the first convictions of sheep shearers in Australia for cruelty.

“People would always say: ‘It’s just shearing. It’s a haircut …’ The shearers, a lot of them are on amphetamines because they have to work at speed. Men punching these sheep. They smash them on their backs, they punch them on their face. With their fists, with the metal clippers, they sew them up without [painkiller].

“Showed Joaquin [Phoenix] this video,” she says – she has a habit of eliding the pronoun, so it’s not clear if she or a Peta colleague did the showing, but maybe the two amount to the same. Phoenix is a vegan who nonetheless wore wool suits. After he saw the video, “Joaquin did a television ad for us and a print ad for us, wearing his new vegan suit, and saying: ‘I didn’t know.’” The suit was made from so-called “future wool”. Humans are allowed to make mistakes, as long as they repent.
Read more at: purple-bridesmaid-dresses-online

Kirjoitettu Monday 25.09.2017

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