Figures released on Friday by the International Fur Federation show that sales of global fur products are estimated at a staggering £24 billion – that’s approximately the same as the global wi-fi market! According to Vogue magazine, the industry now employs more than one million people.
“It’s easy to get caught up in the emotions that the business can generate, but the truth is that the fur trade is an economic cornerstone in Europe and beyond,” IFF CEO Mark Oaten told The Telegraph. “Much of the fashion and increasingly the soft furnishings world relies on fur – and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.”
Fur sales suffered dramatic falls in the 1990s with supermodels like Naomi Campbell announcing they’d “rather go naked than wear fur” (only to turn up at a party in a sable coat a short time later – classic Campbell.) However, we’ve seen an explosion of fur on the catwalks in recent years with everyone from Marni to Joseph Altuzarra showing fur in their autumn/winter collections. And, according to Charles Ross,Head of International Marketing for Saga Furs, “this is almost the golden age in the fur industry – our skin prices are going up 20-30% every year.” Saga’s fur auction house in Finland supplies fox, mink and raccoon fur to more than 400 brands, many of which show at fashion week. The message is clear -fur is back in favour with the fashion pack.
Opponents like PETA call the use of fur barbaric and cruel but supporters claim it’s natural and sustainable. Nonetheless, retail giants like Harvey Nichols that had previously implemented a decade long ban on fur in the luxury department store, have in the last year stocked clothes trimmed with fox, rabbit and raccoon fur. We can only presume this was due to consumer demand and in response to a fashion week where 70% of designers showed fur.
PETA state that “95 per cent of the British public would never wear real fur and rightly regard the industry as one of the most violent, bloody and barbaric on the planet”. But is this accurate? Would 95% of the British public really refuse to wear fur? We’re skeptical as to where they got these figures. What do you think – is real fur inhumane and unacceptable? Or would you happily don a full length white mink a la Alexis Carrington circa 1985?