Both California and New York City are considering legislation to ban the sale of new fur—but the ethics are fuzzy.
“If you feel like getting threatened, here’s an idea: Head to an anti-fur protest and mention child labor. That was my mistake last Fashion Week, when a pack of protestors jammed the entrance to a runway show. “Hi,” I said, grinning, “Thanks for standing up for animal rights. Do you know your cheap sneakers were made by children chained to machines?” They screamed; I screamed. It was cathartic until someone shrieked that he’d skin me alive like a trapped fox, and I scrambled inside fast. Then some $5,000 dresses floated past me, unconcerned with anything but being beautiful. Still, my fists were clenched the entire time. I took the back way out.
The debate over long-lasting fur versus cheaply-made faux is nothing new. Just watch the classic 1998 Friends episode “The One With the Yeti” in which Phoebe inherits a mink. “Why would my mother send me a fur?!” she laments. “I have a perfectly fine coat that no innocent animals suffered to make!” Chandler deadpans: “Just some nine-year-old Filipino kids who work their fingers bloody for 12 cents an hour.” The audience roars.”