Where animal fur was once a powerhouse in the fashion industry, it is now becoming a niche item desired by few people.
To many, the realities of the fur industry remain hidden, and concerningly a lot of real fur is being marketed as faux. Getting fur from animals is not like a haircut, and these animals are kept in terrible conditions, often overfed and contained in small, hard, wire cages, and often suffer from physical and emotional problems. In order for their fur to be harvested, they are eventually killed.
Currently, the fur industry is worth about 40 billion, in part due to the fact that fur products are often priced incredibly high when they are being marketed as real, which certainly helps with turning a large profit. Tagliabue shows no fear from taking on such a large industry, and instead, remembers being inspired to think about fur from animal activists that protested runway shows, with their banners and chants about the violence glamorized by the fashion world. With her New York-based startup, Tagliabue says she hopes to start a “Refauxlution.”
Tagliabue says any fur can be mimicked these days. “The fabrics are becoming more beautiful every year. There’s no more excuses for wearing real fur.” Aside from realistic looking and feeling faux fur, Tagliabue’s designs are often embroidered with other unique elements like flowers, french lace, and sparkling vintage glass.
The brand has made a strong impression thus far. Celebrities — like actress Dame Helen Mirren — are repping the brand on red carpets, on stages, and on album covers. Back in December 2016, Dame Helen Mirren wore a blue jacket, adorned with a Humane Society anti-fur pin at the New York film premiere of her film, Collateral Beauty.
Many argue, that it would be best for real and faux fur to stop appearing in wardrobes. However, Tagliabue says, “Women’s obsession with ornamentation will never go away.” She continues, “The only way you’re going to kill the fur industry is to give customers the best possible option to real fur. This is not only about fashion or a fur revolution, it’s a revolution of the heart and soul.”
While the obsession with ornamentation is hardly exclusive to women, Tagliabue has a point. For now, the best thing the vegan and animal rights movement can do is invest in brands crafting quality faux furs so that maybe, someday, we’ll see the development of a culture where fur is no longer viewed as an option.
In the meantime, we can celebrate the work of the Fur Free Retailer, whose work has led to brands like Gucci and Burlington Coat Factory — who joined Armani, Zara, Hugo Boss and many others — ditching animal fur.
More and more these days, people are putting in the work to save animals. Scientific American reports that it’s clear that activism (or something else) has definitely had an effect on the fur industry, with decreases in fur farms and increases in anti-fur legislation.
In addition, research is showing that fur is not sustainable for the environment or the people who make it, as dangerous chemicals play a large role in keeping the product “fresh.” The facts are coming out and people are using them to make a difference.
As they say, times are changing.
Image credit: HawtCelebs | Pelush