The True Benefits of Buying Real Fur Versus Faux Fur
In recent years, the real fur versus faux fur debate has become incredibly controversial. Industries that produce real genuine fur clothing have been targeted by many organizations that do not hesitate to spread misinformation and use inflammatory, emotional appeals to promote their agenda, often in a “don’t confuse me with the facts” sort of way. But don’t let these campaigns prevent you from doing your own research on the topic and coming to factual conclusions on your own. Because when you dig down into the facts, you will find that there are numerous sustainable and ethical ways to acquire real fur that is not nearly as environmentally friendly as its cut out to be in the media.
So now, let’s talk about some facts. What is the real deal here among the fur industries?
A Fashion Classic vs. a Low-Cost Trend
Real fur coats are a timeless fashion classic.
If you want a coat you can wear year in and year out regardless of the latest trends, a fashion classic is the way to go. It can save you time, money and effort to have such a staple in your closet rather than having to update your coat every winter for the latest fashion trend. Classic fashions are valued in part for being a low hassle way to dress, and in part for being a means to dress to impress.
In part because it is a prized fashion classic, real fur coats are often passed down from grandmother to granddaughter. A family typically keeps such an item about thirty years. So it is not unusual for a fur coat to come from a relative or the family attic instead of being purchased from local fur retailers.
In contrast, faux fur tends to become worn and distressed after a mere six years and then these faux fur pieces become part of the enormous amount of waste generated by the fashion industry. Compared to modern throwaway fashions, fashion classics often make more environmental sense. If you keep it for years, it will be a psychologically comfort wardrobe staple. Faux fur has yet to last long enough to be classified as a classic fashion staple.
Classics are those things that stand the text of time. In spite of improvements in quality in recent years, faux fur cannot pass for the real thing. It’s very often an obvious knock-off and it simply doesn’t have the staying power of the real thing. It doesn’t stand the test of time. Over time, it’s lack of real value shows and a lot of times it will end up in the dumpster.
A Breathable Natural Material vs. an Unbreathable and Unnatural Material
Along with silk, cotton, linen and wool, fur is a natural material and it breathes. This means you are more comfortable. Plastics and synthetics can be cloying. Your sweat accumulates and fails to evaporate. In cold weather, this can actually be dangerous. It can lead to hypothermia.
In order to stay warm, you need to stay dry. Breathable materials are not only more comfortable, they have practical health benefits. They not only help protect against hypothermia in cold weather, they also help protect against infections that can thrive on damp skin.
Faux fur is not a breathable material. Like plastic, it is essentially a petroleum product and it has the same qualities as plastic in terms of not being a breathable material. It traps moisture. It’s cloying. Not only is this uncomfortable, it is potentially bad for your health.
If you don’t know the difference, just drop by a couple of fur coat stores and try on some real fur coats. Then go to another retailer and try on a faux fur coat. The difference is obvious.
Natural Beauty vs. Unnatural Appearance
Natural fur has a sheen that really can’t be matched by faux fur. The color is incredible and fur fashions, such as a chinchilla fur coat, often look a bit like a work of art. This perhaps is part of the inspiration for some of the faux haute couture outfits out there. Yet, real fur comes from the natural world. It grew into its look naturally and the patterns and textures make sense to the human mind, even when it has unusual qualities and an unusual appearance.
When faux fur attempts to replicate this natural beauty, it can oftentimes go awry. It tends to look unnatural and unpleasing to the human eye.
Part of the basis for the natural beauty of the real deal is the luster of the product. Faux fur simply doesn’t have the same luster. Another element is the variation of color and other details of the genuine product. Faux fur simply doesn’t have that amazing organic variation. It simply doesn’t have the same look and feel.
Natural Warmth is Superior
Fur grows on an animal to keep the animal warm out in the wild. Mother Nature designed it over many generations of evolution to withstand the elements, sometimes under very harsh conditions. Thus, it contains engineering wisdom that humans can’t yet fully replicate.
We try, but we fall short. Humanity continues to do research into the marvels of natural materials, such as spider silk, in order to try to comprehend why they work so amazingly well. We then try to replicate it. But we still can’t quite pull it off. This is one of the reasons faux fur is an inferior product.
Faux fur simply doesn’t do a good job of keeping a person warm the way the genuine product does. This incredible natural warmth is a large part of the reason that people began wearing animal pelts to begin with. Faux fur doesn’t begin to come close to the warmth of genuine fur.
The Quality of Tailoring is Simply Not the Same
Faux fur simply cannot keep you as warm as the real deal. In addition to that baseline reality, the two products are designed differently. This adds to the warmth issue. Faux fur is generally more thinly lined or not lined at all and it tends to have poor tailoring details. The way that a genuine fur coat is lined is part of why it can help you stay toasty and comfortable in unfavorable weather.
In most cases, genuine fur coats have two linings. There is an outer lining that is typically made of satin. There is also an inner lining made of either flannel or wool. This combination is especially warm, even in humid or damp weather. Flannel and wool are materials that can keep you warm even when damp. Most other materials wick your heat away when they get damp with sweat.
Real Fur Can Be Raised Sustainably. Faux Fur is a Petroleum Product. It is Not Sustainable.
Although not all fur is raised sustainably, it can be raised sustainably. If you are worried about the environment, you should be looking into the entire production process behind a garment. Simply striking fur from your wardrobe is a lazy answer that doesn’t necessarily protect the environment. It can even harm the environment.
A mink fur coat may seem like a scandalous luxury to some, but some of the best mink is raised sustainably on family farms. In Denmark, mink are fed fish by-catch and other leftover meat. They are also put down painlessly after a life in a clean and healthy environment.
In contrast, faux fur is a petroleum product. It is inherently unsustainable because petroleum is not a renewable resource. If you are upset about what gas guzzling vehicles do to the environment and concerned about Peak Oil, you shouldn’t see faux fur in any kind of positive light.
Real Fur Can Be an Important Part of Sustaining Native Cultures. Faux Fur Cannot Be.
Indigenous or tribal cultures have a long history of living in harmony with their environment. They typically use all the parts of an animal. This means they consume the meat and turn the pelt into a useful product. In the modern world, this is leading to some Native cultures finding a means to make money in a way that sustains their traditional way of life.
Embracing natural fur as a fashion has the potential to help bridge the gap between the developed world and the developing world. It has the potential to respect the traditions of local populations and give them a means to trade with outsiders while retaining their valuable heritage and culture.
Faux fur has no such potential. It is a modern invention made with advanced manufacturing techniques. It has no capacity to play a vital role in the preservation of traditional tribal cultures. It simply furthers the domination of Western culture over local Native cultures while claiming moral superiority. There is no reason whatsoever it should be seen as ethically superior to genuine fur.
It’s Not Just the Look. It’s Also the Feel.
The look of real fur is incredible, but so is the feeling of it. It is wonderfully soft and silky to the touch. It is a hedonistic experience to run your hand across a fur coat. There is a reason why genuine fur has such a sexy reputation. It is heavenly to touch it. It inspires memes of making love on it. Faux fur does not nearly provide quite the same sensual inspiration.
This is part of why many fur fashion models are typically seen embracing a chinchilla fur coat or running their hand over it in a way most fashion is not treated. It’s just irresistibly touchable. The feel of fur is a large part of the appeal.
In contrast, faux fur is often itchy, scratchy and not smooth. It is a coarser material, much like AstroTurf is coarser than real grass. In humid weather, it can feel sticky in a way that the real deal does not. Faux fur does not inspire the same sensual feeling as faux fur. And it does not inspire people to grasp it and feel it as they wear it. It isn’t a material that gives off an irresistible touchable feeling.
Real Fur is Eco-Friendly and Biodegradable. Faux Fur is Not.
Fur is a natural product. It exists because animals exist. Whether farm raised in a sustainable fashion or trapped in a sustainable fashion, it is inherently part of the larger ecosystem. Because it is an organic product, it is biodegradable. It comes from nature. It can return to nature and be part of the natural cycle.
Faux fur is synthetic. Like plastic, it doesn’t readily biodegrade. In fact, microfibers from petrochemical products do enormous harm to waterways and the life therein. The widespread use of such products has done tremendous harm that we don’t know how to begin to measure, much less mitigate. The same cannot be said of animal fur.
Fur is Classy. Faux Fur is Not.
It’s true: Fur coat stores are high end retailers. Like many status symbols, the high price is part of the reason for its class. You have to be fairly well off to be able to afford the real deal to begin with.
But that high price is really rooted in the many things previously listed:
• It’s incredible beauty.
• It’s natural warmth.
• It’s amazing feel.
• It gets treated like an heirloom because it lasts.
Those things would be prized even if money were no object. Those things would be prized even in a world where money simply did not exist at all. They have inherent value.
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