Eco-Chic: Planet-Friendly Fur? Im-possum-ble..

April 9, 2008 by SheFindsErin
shefinds |


There's a furrier near my home in Chicago whose notorious trademark catch phrase is "Save the Environment! Wear Fur!" meaning (in the tackiest way possible) that, by wearing fur, you're preserving an element of nature. However, the phrase is losing its tongue-in-cheek, uh, charm as luxury retailers really are trying the eco-friendly mantle on for size.

Hybrid Lexus SUVs, exotic eco-getaways, and "I'm Not a Plastic Bag" totes fetching top dollar and inspiring countless knockoffs: all are signs that the luxury industry is desperate to cash in on our planet love. And furs are no exception. Now more than 20 fur retailers are dealing in goods made from the fur of brushtail possums, a forest-destroying species of critters from New Zealand. The furriers' thought behind it? The more brushtail possums we kill to make your coats, throws, and hats, the fewer brushtail possums there are to munch on New Zealand's trees.

Of course, they're not so blunt. Eco-Luxury Fur LLC, one of the companies marketing the possum furs, coined the phrase "All of the luxury. None of the guilt." Huh. So, when you curl up under your $3,000 hot pink possum-fur throw, you can know you did your part for the planet. And when you buy a Possumdown Kiwi Beanie from Shop New Zealand, maybe you'll feel you've put your $38 toward a good cause when you read the following: "Each night 70-90 million Possums in New Zealand eat their way through 22,000 tons of native forest. Your purchase of a Possumdown garment means that you have not only acquired a truly unique garment but also contributed to the preservation of our native forests." You go, global warrior!

So what's next? Coats made from the raccoons who go through our collective garbage cans? They're messing up our meticulously sorted recycling, after all. And my cats have nibbled through a good portion of my apartment's houseplant growth. Maybe I should have them made into some luxe "eco-friendly" slippers?

What do you think? Is there such a thing as eco-friendly fur? Would you wear something made from Earth's deadliest enemies (see the terrifying brushtail possum pic above)? What's the most ridiculous "eco-chic" bandwagon item you've seen. Sound off in the comments section below.

And if you're really jonesing to cover yourself in velvety fur, but can't bear to go eco-style, then why not opt for faux? It's not as fugly as it used to be, believe us. Fabulous Furs offers real-looking fur coats and jackets – and now they're on sale, so you can stock up for next season. We love this creamy white belted coat with fox fur trim ($200), this Persian lamb faux fur ($170), and this edgy black mink jacket ($150). 

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