Nothing heralds the advent of winter like the procession of bundled-up pedestrians buried in a avalanche of coats, hats, and scarves. But it turns out the real answer to staying warm is wrapping yourself in fur, according to Thursday’s AM New York Daily Chic Report, which featured a five-page spread devoted to “The Secrets of Fur! How Real? How Much? How Fabulous.” Total number of faux fur mentions: 1. Surprised? Us, not so much. Although we may believe we live in more enlightened times, one in five American women own a fur coat, according to the paper. And New Yorkers, in particular, are a driving force in the pro-fur movement—more so than anywhere else in the United States, in fact.

fur, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, animal cruelty, skin trade

Photo by echoforsberg


Elizabeth Olsen, designer of Olsenhaus, a line of vegan shoes, may be based in New York, but she thinks people are living in denial of what they’re wearing. “We don’t live in caves, write on cave walls, or rub sticks together to start a fire,” she tells Ecouterre. “We have evolved past that, we have heaters, drive cars, talk on cellphones and read books on electronic pads; so why are people  still walking around with hundreds of dead animals wrapped around their body like cave-people?”

And if you’re still unconvinced, check out these surprising fur facts from PETA and Born Free USA:

  • More than 50 million animals are violently killed for use in fashion every year.
  • Methods used to kill animals for their fur include gassing, electrocution, and neck-breaking.
  • Rabbit fur is often falsely identified as a byproduct of meat production. The truth is, few rabbit skins are obtained from slaughterhouses; they come from animals who are factory-farmed or trapped purely for fashion.
  • Cat and dog fur often enter the U.S. market undetected and sold as fur trim.
  • The United States is the fifth largest mink-producing country in the world, killing 3 million farm-raised minks annually for their pelts.
  • The amount of energy needed to produce a real fur coat from ranch-raised animal skins is approximately 20 times that needed to produce a fake fur garment. Also, the chemicals applied to the furs make them non-biodegradable.
  • The United Nations reports that at least 1 billion rabbits are killed each year for their fur, which is used in clothing, as lures for fly-fishing, and for trim on craft items.