Shopping abroad for fashion can be exhilarating! It’s certainly an opportunity to breathe new life into a locally grown wardrobe. Give the task to your husband though, via an international call, within his rare hour between meetings, and one loses the plot and the joy!
As generous as my husband’s offer was, I knew it unfair to have him scout Selfridges’ sales rails for, “a casual sweater (pullover/jersey) to wear with denim”.
I asked him nevertheless.
Offering some guidance, I went online and found this ideal (or so I thought) sweater, detailed with a sequin-embellished fox motif.
I don’t usually wear tops with motifs or brand names thrown across the chest, but somehow this fox appealed to my playfulness, was brilliant in colour, and spoke of my love for wild animals – isn’t that what fashion is all about, for expressions just as these?
A big pity then that this Wildfox top is made from rabbit fur! Thankfully, Craig knew better than to buy it.
Yes, Angora is rabbit hair. And no, the Angora rabbits doesn’t get gently combed. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) opened our eyes late year with this difficult-to-watch, secretly shot video footage (warning: graphic content).
(It shows live rabbits tied by their front and back paws being plucked raw. Hair is ripped from their bodies to ensure fibres are as long and heavy as possible – the pain and shock of which causes the rabbits to scream. The rabbits are put back into cramped wire cages to grow their hair back ready for plucking again. After three years the rabbits are killed.)
“Some 4,700 tons of this ‘luxurious’ long-haired rabbit fur is produced each year according to the International Wool Textile Organisation, 90% of this in China, a country with nothing in the way of legislation to protect farmed animals.” (The Guardian)
I believe it’s high time more designers become innovators of fibres, rather than dully using the fur and skins of sentient beings. Progressive retailers also have the opportunity to differentiate themselves by promoting and encouraging compassionate choices. Ultimately though it’s us, the consumer, who needs to be made fully aware. Then, of course, act compassionately enough to resist turning a blind eye to fashion made from the suffering and death of others!
On the bright side, as a result of this PETA footage more and more retailers have pulled all Angora products off their shelves, with commitments to stop production altogether. Kudos to the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and Mango. Here’s a broader list of where individual retailers stand on the matter.
When selecting my fashion fibres, I choose to wear something not someone.
Where do you stand?