The One Clothing Item You Need is Hiding in Your Grandma's Closet

It Includes Fur and No, It's Not from an Animal's Back

By Alexis Gaskin

It’s been decided, wearing real fur is ‘out’ and the days of wearing faux fur is ‘in’. With high fashion luxury opting for a cruelty-free faux fur addition, many are realizing that wearing real fur is not haute couture. Many fashion bloggers and social media influencers are reaching for the more affordable and animal-friendly faux fur, the trend of wearing faux fur has swamped many fashion magazines and social media. The influx of this animal and environmentally friendly choice the confusion as to what to do with that vintage real fur is coming to question.  

A variety of fur, faux to vintage, worn by the team members of Sustain The Mag.

A variety of fur, faux to vintage, worn by the team members of Sustain The Mag.

Fur has always been a staple piece to any outfit and the purchase of furs was synonymous with status and luxury. Magazines like Vogue and Elle feature famous celebrities draped in furs on their cover showing the appeal of fur, both faux and real alike. With generations of fur coats being handed down between family members and the occasional thrift store finds, the desire to wear it shouldn’t be diminished with the trend of faux fur. The ousting of real fur is a monumental step in the fashion world and a long-awaited one indeed. However, that doesn't mean you have to burn or throw away that real fur you may have in your closet.

Pups at McCarren Park on a sunny day.

Pups at McCarren Park on a sunny day.

Wear it, embrace that hand-me-down or amazing thrift store find, but don’t buy real fur from coat stores; even from your favorite brand. By buying and supporting stores and clothing lines that do produce real fur, you're adding to the process of animal cruelty. You don’t have to be Cruella DeVille to be stylish, many stores and brands offer faux fur that is very luxurious and reminiscent of real fur, without the cruelty.

Fashion brands like Gucci, Stella McCartney, Christian Siriano, and Chloé Mendel are all on the side of the faux fur. While fashion house Stella McCartney has always been an advocate for the use of animal-free materials, brands that have used real fur in the past, like Gucci, are preferring to use faux fur and non animal byproduct materials. It seems like with more high luxury brands switching over to faux fur the pressure for other brands and stores to cater to this desire is heightened. With faux fur on high demand, the choice to wear faux over real fur has expanded. However, wearing vintage fur is still a trend. You can never go wrong with vintage.

Nora Mitchell getting cuddles.

Nora Mitchell getting cuddles.

Recently I was going through my grandmother's old cedar chest, which holds old trinkets of photos, records, the occasional war memorabilia and to my surprise a mink scarf. I was shocked that she had kept the scarf for so long and never did anything with it. When asked about the scarf she simply said, “I don’t wear real fur, but I’ve had it -real mink scarf- for so long, it’d be a shame to throw it away.” The scarf which had belonged to my grandmother's grandmother was worn by many women in my family and was passed down through the generations. This piece of fur that held so much history, wasn’t going to be thrown away anytime soon. The choice to wear real fur is a difficult one, you always have to take into consideration the source material, animals. Minks, rabbits, foxes, and chinchillas are the most commonly used animals for their furs. Buying new fur isn’t the best choice in the fashion world anymore, but wearing vintage fur is always a trend. Vintage and hand-me-downs are taking a front seat to many iconic styles and wearing vintage fur is a chic choice as well. Suede and Leather are other taboo materials that are made through animal cruelty and other non-sustainable materials, but buying these items second hand or wearing old items passed down is actually more environmentally sound than buying new items or throwing it away.  

With a more environmentally inclined manufacture being added to fashion and cruelty-free items being preferred; the fashion world is looking to get rid of the animal cruelty and move fashion to a more sustainable image. The wave of choosing to wear faux fur or vintage fur is adding to this trend, one that will create a lasting impression.

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Production Assistant: Ashley Torres