Fur is back in the news. The New York Times reports that ‘[f]or the first time in more than two decades, more designers are using fur than not.’ In New York alone, 2/3 of its fashion designers are using fur. The grisly facts of fur are well known and yet fur is staging a comeback. Why? In its report, the Times suggests that the increase in fur is due to an aggressive marketing campaign by fur producers:
Much like lobbying groups in Washington, various cooperatives representing breeders, farmers and auction houses around the world solicit designers to use their furs.
Fur breeders spend huge sums of money recruiting fashion designers. Fur breeders will send several pelts to several different designers, enticing them to design clothes out of fur. A marketing director for one of the furriers spoke frankly about the intent behind the marketing strategy:
We want to make sure fur is on the pages of magazines around the world. The way to do that is to facilitate the use of fur by designers.
Fur indeed has an increased prominence of late. Johnny Weir, the US figure skater drew ire for defiantly flaunting his white fox skating costume at the US National Figure Skating Championships. Weir did not win a medal at the 2010 Vancouver games, but he did famously say at the Olympics ‘I’m not intimidated by anything, except maybe PETA standing outside with a bucket of blood.’ Three cheers for PETA! (Incidentally, Johnny Weir was dropped by ‘Stars on Ice’ for not being “family friendly” enough.)
In spite of these furriers’ marketing campaign and the increasing profile of fur, there is encouraging news about a proposed new law in Israel on the fur trade. The new draft bill would ban the fur trade altogether in Israel. As reported by Haaretz, if the bill passes, Israel will be the first country to ban the export, import and sale of any kind of fur. More news about this draft bill can be found here and here.
Keep watching this space for more news about the fur ban. Let’s hope the bill becomes law! Down with fur.