Vintage Fur: Animals Still Died for Your Coat

Posted by 6 years ago | Permalink | Comments (14)

© iStockPhoto / mythja

From using energy-saving light bulbs to recycling, we’re all wannabe eco warriors these days! But the fur trade latched onto this idea, touting “vintage” fur as an environmental choice to uninformed shoppers.

Here’s why second-hand furs are still a problem:

  1. Those who wear fur – whether new or second-hand – are promoting the torturing of animals and helping the flagging fur trade through acting as a walking advert for cruelty.
  2. The idea that vintage fur is more acceptable than new fur is simply not true. All “vintage” means is that the animals were killed long ago, but whether the animals were killed yesterday or 50 years ago, all fur sends the same unacceptable message – that it is OK to torture animals and rip the skin off animals’ backs in the name of fashion.
  3. It’s the year 2010 – we don’t need to dress like cave people. Go for faux furs instead. They’re hip and reflect the beauty of animals without killing them in violent ways.

We can’t take back the awful suffering that went into furs that were made many years ago, but we can prevent more animals from suffering the same fate by refusing to wear any fur, vintage or otherwise. Fur will always symbolise cruelty and cannot be peddled as anything else.

If you know someone with unwanted furs who wants to clean out their wardrobes and their conscience, the best thing that they can do is donate their fur coats to PETA. We’ll use them in our campaigning efforts.



  • Rachel A commented on January 1, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Wearing vintage fur is different than giving it to the homeless to wear. Skins are something only the most desperate should even think about wearing! Fur was a necessity when we lived in caves, it is NOT a necessity today.

    I would never wear anything that was real fur, wool, silk or leather, etc. (not to mention, the fakes I’ve found are simply amazing – softer and nicer than the so-called Real Thing.)

    • Wowzers commented on February 8, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      No matter how bad real fur is, faux fur is even worse: if you don’t wear fur, you shouldn’t wear ANYTHING that resembles fur!

  • KT commented on January 1, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Peta UK are saying don’t buy vintage fur at all yet Peta USA are working with Lucky Dog Thrift Shop to label all the ‘vintage’ fur, leather etc. – this seems like conflicting ideas to me.

    I would never wear fur but in the past I have bought secondhand leather shoes because I couldn’t afford the vegan alternative and at least buying secondhand means I’m not supporting the leather industry.

  • Rachel A commented on January 1, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    I have been lucky. The shoes in the cheap shops around me are made with imitation leather, plastic and other non-animal materials. I even found a really durable pair of safety boots that were leather free. Unfortunately not everyone is lucky enough to be in this situation… thanks for being compassionate and not supporting the industry, KT. The world needs more people like you!

  • Tracy commented on January 6, 2011 at 9:21 am

    I cannot understand why PETA advocate faux fur, and everybody here who is happy to wear synthetic leather, fur and fibres. The damage all this is doing to the environment is HUGE and animals are dying horribly all over the world from ingestion of plastics, and poisoning from toxic by products of production. The oils industry from which these products are made is huge and so destructive to animals.

    Our oils spill in the gulf of Mexico was bad enough, but in the Niger Delta this has been going on for tens of years continually and no one cares. Whole ecosystems and animals have been wiped out. Sea birds, fish and other animals are being poisoned. As are innocent people and kids.

    I have to admit I don’t know what to wear. Even cotton use most of the world’s pesticides, causing death and suffering to insects, rodets and birds.

    Then there’s the waste from all this. We buy clothes then chuck them away after a year and buy more, and most synthetic clothing just does not decompose. In the Pacific there is a HUGE circulation of plastic, the size of Europe going round and round, destroying sea life and shore life when it gets washed up. At least people with fur coats tend to buy only one or two in their lifetime and they last, and then rot when thrown away.

    I just don’t know what to wear. It seems everything we do for clothing causes animals to suffer and die on huge scales. But all I can say is PLEASE try and stay away from synthetic clothing it is not green or good for animals

  • EvaM commented on January 6, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Hi Tracy,
    Faux fur is more environmentally friendly than real fur. Toxic chemicals are used to preserve and process skins, and waste from processing plants and fur farms poison rivers and streams. It also takes 20 times more energy to process a coat made from animal fur as it does from a fake fur!

    Real fur coats are not biodegradable- they are coated in chemicals to stop them rotting…as well as being the result of unimaginable cruelty.

    We can only do our best to avoid causing suffering. One way I do this is to buy vintage (not fur or other animals skins!) and support companies with good ethics. There are some listed here:

  • KT commented on January 6, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Tracy: Just go around as nature intended – in your birthday suit, lol! 😉
    Seriously though, I do understand your dilemma.

  • DL commented on January 8, 2011 at 11:56 am

    I understand your cruelty angle, and feel it right to campaign, yet I do feel throwing fur coats in landfill is just a waste. You say that it takes more energy to produce a real fur (though I have seen different arguments from both sides) as oppose to man made fur, so it follows that it takes more energy to make a man made coat that a vintage, as the vintage one has already been produced.
    So the energy argument is void really
    Also the cruelty to animals, whilst valid, is a general argument that relates to the whole meat industry and not just fur industry. I cannot see a world where we do away with meat, but would be happy to see it one day.
    I would buy and sell real vintage fur, and should be free to do so (as I am). My support of it is not me ‘promoting’ it, anymore than buying cheap clothes (which I dont) is promoting sweat shop labour.

    I do support the fight to stop cruelty to animals (and people), and applaud you in your valuable work.

    I run a not for profit second hand shop that promotes and supports environmental initiatives through money raised, including ironically, the trapping of American Mink that our destrying our native birds and mammals. I do occasionally come across vintage fur.

  • PetuniaWinkleberry commented on January 19, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Sorry but i am a vintage fur lover. I own 3 vintage fur coats that are older than me i love them. I would buy more vintage fur but wouldnt buy a fur coat new. i dont see whats wrong with re-using one that is like 20 maybe 30 years old as back then who knows how the animal died to make it the animal couldve been killed for its meat and then the skin used to keep warm. Now there are nasty skin farms and all of that nastyness.

    Is it possible to mayb be For vintage fur…but Against any new fur being produced

    After all whats done is done and i feel you should get every bit of use out of vintage fur.

  • Rebecca commented on January 1, 2012 at 10:01 am

    I disagree with this article.
    In my view, if people want to wear fur they are going to. By encouraging trade in vintage fur, you are at least deflecting business away from people who make money by selling new fur.

    I also agree with the argument that disposal of a vintage fur is waste. Not only because of the energy issues but because (and this may sound a little insensitive) the poor animals who died to make that coat are already dead. Why dispose of it, when the person who may have bought that coat might now turn to a new fur coat were MORE animals have to die.

    It seems extremely counterproductive and downright stubborn to be taking this angle. At least until further progress is made with the fur fight, PETA shouldn’t be taking this irresponsible unyielding stance on the issue that could actually end up doing more harm than good.

  • Sarah commented on September 12, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    I think PETA push people away from converting to their cause with this black and white thinking – it is advertising for the fur industry, but it is also making good use of something and not letting it go to waste. I don’t think the environmental impact of vintage fur can be argued to be worse than modern plastics based items and someone who knows 2 environmental scientists I don’t think they would agree, plastic is a massive massive problem to our entire eco system and we shouldn’t be encouraging it’s use at all. Animals would be a lot better served by a reduction in human population and consumption, thus allowing easier implementation of more humane method of farming… People are selfish creatures with a drive to ‘hunt and gather’ and they need incentivising to do the right thing – which means educating them on how the existence animals benefit our planet, how they have equal sentient feelings to us and how their children can benefit from better political and lifestyle choices.

  • Emily commented on October 20, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    Sarah, I echo your sentiments entirely but will further the argument. PETA, Greenpeace et al need to make population decline their ultimate principle. We can’t solve any of our problems until the world wakes up and realises that the most ethical and humane choice we can make with our lives is to curb our selfish, greedy instincts to breed. I am astounded that this concept is still so unfathomable to most, especially the supposedly educated classes, but it proves that we are still suffering ignorance and arrogance on a terrifying scale. To be specifically topical, I own several sheepskins and inherited furs; all have seen 2 generations and a couple have seen 3 – not to mention all the wool and leather – but I will be the last. Perhaps PETA can create a range of badges for those who wear old animal clothes to declare their irreproachable long term commitment to animal and global welfare: HUMANS! STOP REPRODUCING! or perhaps more appropriately fervent – I’M GOING STERILE, ARE YOU?

  • Tim commented on May 30, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    There’s nothing that even close to the warmth feel and look of fur I for one will carry on wearing it regardless

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