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Is it acceptable to wear second hand fur?

This AW24 fashion week the shows were full of faux fur maybe even real, can you even tell the difference between them now? The mob wife aesthetic has become a huge influence creating a storm over whether wearing second hand fur is acceptable. But it definitely seems to be a trend that isn't going away.


How do you feel about it?


We have taken extracts from the following articles but what are your thoughts on this latest trend?


Aw24 Miu Miu



VOGUE


'At first, it just felt like a TikTok trend: Gen Z and millennials wearing vintage fur or faux-fur coats to incarnate the so-called mob-wife aesthetic—an ostentatious mafioso style that takes cues from Carmela Soprano and The Godfather’s Connie Corleone. Then it felt like a celebrity stunt moment: Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber wearing shearling coats in Aspen, Ice Spice wearing repurposed fur to the 2024 Grammys, and Kim Kardashian stepping out in a matching fuzzy Prada set—all within a few months of each other. But suddenly it felt like a real thing.

The bellwether perhaps began with Pharrell Williams’s Louis Vuitton men’s collections and their floor length dusters. It continued during New York Fashion Week, where models wearing fur—some of it real, some vintage, some faux—strutted down several runways. Luar had fur stoles, and LaQuan Smithopted for opulent bomber jackets. Models in bold, burgundy shearling jackets strutted at Khaite, while over in London Simone Rochawrapped her models’ shoulders in faux-fur patches. Fast-forward to Milan, and Ballyshowed dresses and vests lined with elegant fur trimmings. Before Paris even began—where Miu Miu put a faux fur coat on Gigi Hadid and Balenciaga opted for faux-fur dusters—it was clear. The fur aesthetic had officially gone far beyond algorithms.

But the return of real fur has taken many in the industry by surprise. In 2021, it appeared to be firmly out. Kering—the French luxury conglomerate that owns Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, and Balenciaga, among many other labels—banned its use across its maisons. Billie Eilish asked Oscar de la Renta to go fur-free, and it agreed. Saks Fifth Avenue closed their fur salons and announced they’d stop selling fur goods by 2023. Meanwhile, California banned the sale of mink, sable, chinchilla, lynx, fox, rabbit, beaver, and coyote furs outright. The British Fashion Council even banned it from London Fashion Week.



When fur is used in a slow-fashion way, it is a relatively sustainable resource. It’s in the farmer’s best interest to maximize every part of the animal: The cows we eat are also used for leather. Shearling comes from lambs set to be consumed, making it a byproduct of our food supply. (This is why shearling is often still sold by retailers that have banned most other types of fur—and is not included in the statewide or company-wide bans.) For those animals we don’t eat, the meat often goes into animal feed, fertilizers, or other various products. Mink fat, for example, can be used in soap manufacturing.



But we don’t live in a world of slow fashion anymore. We live in a fast, mass-consumer one. And in that world, more than one billion animals are killed every year for the fur industry, according to the Journal of Animal Ethics. Ethically, it’s hard for some to justify that number. And sure, some luxury brands have enough money to use high-end fur companies that offer transparency and traceability, but that’s more often the exception than the rule. There’s no way that all those animals are killed responsibly or handled sustainability (if you even think either is possible).

The solution, at first, seemed like faux fur: something that made the wearer feel luxurious yet was cruelty-free. Yet faux fur is most often made from microplastics, which are not biodegradable. According to the United Nations, synthetic clothing releases an estimated 1.4 million trillion plastic fibers per year into the ocean. This seemingly leaves consumers with no great choice: Eco-friendliness comes at the price of ethics, or ethics comes at the price of eco-friendliness. “Fur can be sustainable, but faux fur is not,” Mai says. “But faux fur isn’t an animal product, and fur is. Those are two separate conversations.”


Enter vintage fur.


It circumvents both the problems of real fur and faux fur; you are neither harming any animals nor creating any waste for landfills.


“With upcycling and vintage, you’re not causing any additional harm,” the designers told Vogue in 2021. Meanwhile, interest in thrifting has reached an all-time high. Some 62% of Gen Z and millennial consumers say they look for items secondhand before buying new. (“Clean girl is out, mob-wife era is in…. We’re wearing vintage furs all winter,” TikToker Kayla Trivieri said in her now viral voiceover describing the mob-wife aesthetic.)


...wearing fur, justifying it by saying, ‘It’s in my closet anyways, it’s vintage, and I might as well wear it.’”


Loewe AW24


VOGUE BUSINESS...

TikTok #mobwifeaesthetics has already garnered over 52 millions views in the past 10 days.


Faux fur coats are already up 18 per cent this month, while searches for leopard print are up a staggering 213 per cent.


“Fur is one of the most polluting and wasteful industries in the fashion world,” says Claire Bass, senior campaigns and public affairs director at Humane Society. However, she is hopeful that “the increasing availability of innovative, next-gen materials”, such as plant-based alternatives, is a step towards a sustainable fur-free future.


Many of the current faux fur alternatives are made from petroleum-based products and polyester and acrylic mixes, which can take approximately 1,000 years to biodegrade once they inevitably end up in landfill. “Moving away from petroleum-based products while keeping intact our animal-free vision definitely is a huge challenge,” says Arnaud Brunois, the communication and sustainability manager of Ecopel, a faux fur artisan that works with brands like Stella McCartney. “The new generation of synthetics will have to be designed differently, free of virgin plastics to keep circularity in mind.”

“Ultimately the most sustainable thing you can do is buy timeless pieces that you can wear over multiple seasons,” says Maisonrouge. “Not just because it’s mob wife winter.”





What do you think? Are you for or against? Is wearing second hand fur or faux fur still glamorising it and shouldn't be worn at all?


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