Interiors and Exteriors
Art and Design
Objects and Antiquities

Monday, March 5


While sorting through a stack of old paperwork I came across some documents from my time at the Saga Fur Design Centre outside Copenhagen in Denmark.  I attended an incredible week-long course at the centre through a design competition at Ryerson University.  At the time, I was passionate about fur and had few qualms about slicing up skins even after visiting the farm where the mink and foxes are raised. Coming across these documents over a decade later made me pause to think about my current attitude towards fur, and... that I may have hoarding issues.

Fur is a beautiful, durable, long lasting, sustainable and incredibly warm material.  I wear vintage fur coats and promote them as the best option for a bitterly cold and windy day.  My problem is that I don't think that I could kill the animals that make these coats.  I have relationships with domestic animals of similar intelligence and feel queasy at the the thought of killing them for their skins. Animal pelts were originally worn as a badge of bravery and skill in being able to overpower a magnificent beast.  I don't have these skills or inclinations so why should I get to wear the mink?  Really, I should be in a mouse skin coat.

I'm living with guilt for the lives I'm taking to feed and clothe myself, and wonder if I'd feel differently if I'd been raised closer to the farming and hunting that provide these products.  I can't seem to give up the steak or the fur, but strive to become more ethical and informed about my choices.  If you are going to give up fur, wear wool; don't clothe yourself in unsustainable oil products such as faux fur and polar fleece.

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