Luxurious fur couture seem to be as far removed from ethical fashion as could be. But one designer has managed to combine the two by recycling roadkill, creating some truly sustainable and ethically-conscious fur garments. Pamela Paquin, founder of Petite Mort, decided to take on the huge number of animal casualties that end up on our roads each year. With the help of hunters, highway patrol people, and wildlife officers, Paquin transforms the pelts of animals found on the streets in her nearby area of Massachusetts into striking eco and animal friendly accessories.

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The numbers certainly make a positive case for Petite Mort’s work: an estimated 365 million animals are killed on the streets every year, while around 50 million other animals are killed for use in the fur industry. In the past year, the range of animals Paquin has received or recovered include a fox, beaver, raccoons, and otters, among others. These all come with a story of where they came from and how they may have lived, and are registered with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.

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When she first embarked on the project, Paquin enlisted the help of a taxidermist who instructed her in the skinning process – the less said about that the better! Next, she sends the animal pelt off to a tannery in Idaho. Once the fur is sent back Paquin works on the design to create unique bespoke garments including neck muffs, velvet-lined hand muffs, leg warmers, trapper hats, and gloves. These come with a Sterling silver badge that demonstrates its ethical origins, and a pretty hefty price tag.

To fully honor the animal Paquin performs a small ‘giveaway’ burial ceremony that harks back to Native American rituals. This is a way of

+ Petite Mort

[Via Modern Farmer]