October 7, 2012
It’s Official: Snowflake Furs is NOT Welcome in Vancouver
How many times have we chanted: Snowflake Furs, Shut them DOWN!
Well, dreams do come true.
After several years of hard-hitting protests and anonymous acts of animal freedom, Snowflake Furs appears to be down for the count.
About a year ago, Snowflake was evicted from the Fairmont Hotel and tried to move down the street. Local activists paid them a few visits. One in which a random guy volunteered to have blood (strawberry sauce) poured all over him in a real fur coat (donated by means of pressure) to show Snowflake’s hand in the sick and blood-spattered fur industry.
In Snowflake’s stark empty windows now are pictures of the damage that led to the store’s closure – chemicals injected into the store to ruin ‘merchandise’ (abused animal carcasses).
The evil Snowflake sisters have never swayed from their position that they are the victims in this situation. Victims of senseless vandalism.
But is it property damage if what they are selling is not only not their property but not products at all?
The final nail in Snowflake Vancouver’s coffin was committed by the ALF. The update on Bite Back reads:
“Five weeks ago we took action against Snowflake Furs and Speiser Furs in Vancouver Canada. We used 10 large syringes with 16 gauge needles to shoot a foul substance into the stores through small spaces in the doors. Syringes have the ability to shoot more than 25 feet into the building onto their merchandise causing serious economic damage.
The Pacific Center Snowflake Furs location is now closed indefinitely. The store is gutted and lifeless, how appropriate.
We will stop when the violence and murder stops and it is only a matter of time before actions like these start occurring at the other Snowflake locations in Whistler and Banff.
To anyone who does not understand why fur stores are being targeted in this way please search ‘fur cruelty’ or ‘skinned alive for fur’ on your computer and spend some time witnessing the horrific fur trade.”
Although random passerbys might think this ‘vandalism’ needs to be ‘cracked down on’ (yes, I’m talking to you random passerby), what really needs to be cracked down on is the use of animals for clothing when other more environmentally-friendly, more comfortable, more hi-tech, humane materials exist.
Fur is as much a part of Canada’s heritage (as Snowflake tries to claim) as genocide. Let’s leave the past in the past.
If Snowflake is indeed
renovating trying to recover from this catastrophe, their insurance will be sky high, and they’ll no doubt be greeted by a slew of animal rights’ activists if they try to show their face in this town again.
Fur bearing animals, we’ve got your backs.
Thank you, ALF.
This progress shows that all types of activism can work together nonviolently to get results for animals. This is democracy at work. If one does not have dollars to vote with, one must take the dollars out of the hands of the oppressors.
*For further reading: The Calgary Sun has most cleverly determined that this act of liberation was done by -gasp- anti-fur activists. Read HERE.
February 14, 2011
What does it mean to be a “good” vegan?
My friend and I had an interesting conversation today as we were fighting the battle against fur together on the street. This friend is an extremely innovative and courageous activist and this is why I enjoyed our debate.
The convo began with whether vegans should wear faux fur, but it branched off into what makes a “good” vegan.
What is a “good vegan”?
- Someone who doesn’t eat anything from animals OR insects (honey)?
- Someone who is not only vegan, but an animal rights activist?
- Someone who won’t eat a veggie burger off a barbecue where meat has been cooked?
- Someone who doesn’t have pets? (Some believe animals aren’t meant to be domesticated)
- Someone who adopts as many pets as possible?
- Someone who abstains from faux fur?
- Someone who abstains from faux fur and faux leather/pleather?
- Someone who refuses to work with any animal products? (Service industry, etc.)
- Someone who doesn’t wear any of the old leather or wool items they purchased before becoming vegan?
- Someone who doesn’t fly or drive on top of being vegan, out of respect for the entire natural world?
- Someone who chooses to feed their pets a vegan diet despite the sometimes difficult experimentation process in establishing their dietary balance?
- Someone who feeds their pets some animal products, some vegan products?
- Someone who ensures that all the meat they buy for their pets is wild and not factory farmed?
- Someone who buys only personal care products that aren’t tested on animals?
- Someone who boycotts all mainstream medicine because it’s tested on animals? Including birth control pills? And/or antibiotics?
- Someone who eats vegan but won’t cook meat for their partner or family?
- Someone who doesn’t smack mosquitoes on their arm? Or kill spiders?
- Someone who lets their home be infested by bugs or mice because they don’t want to hurt anything?
- Someone who shuns not only animal products, but the system that treats the animals as products? (ie captitalism) Engaging in other activist strategies to change the bigger picture as well?
Vegan Grey Zones
Many of these questions are GREY ZONES. Questions that many vegans feel strongly about in one way or another. Being vegan is actually quite relative, and personal.
I’m not vegan as a role model for others. I’m vegan because it feels good to me. And if others observe this, then great if they choose to investigate this lifestyle for themselves.
BUT, if I try to be vegan according to another’s definition of what a vegan should be, then I feel obligation and I’m not a conformist. If I conform to the majority of a vegan group I socialize with and work with, this is not acting independently.
Vegans don’t conform to the mainstream diet, but we also shouldn’t feel obliged to conform to each other. All vegan choices should come from within.
Also, I’m not vegan in an attempt to be ascetic or pure. In my mind, a vegan should have just as many options as a consumer of animal products.
We can imitate whatever products we miss with creative solutions: including veggie burgers, faux fur, pleather, soy milkshakes, etc.
All ideas are born in the natural world (eg. umbrellas = tree tops), so I feel that the idea of the texture of fur will never go away as long as we admire the coats our animal friends and observe this soft layer of warmth. (Faux fur can be warm, to vegans who feel it’s simply aesthetic.)
*Disclaimer: Test faux fur before you buy. Take a lighter into the dressing room and burn a strand or two. Faux will melt and smell plastic – real fur will smell like human hair caught in the blowdryer.
I aim to be a vegan hedonist. I don’t give things up, I simply get creative in finding a way to live the life I want to live in a way that’s not violent or entitled.
We live in an animal product consuming world and we can bend our ideals to make the journey sustainable, but only if we pay attention to our internal compasses and not those of our neighbors.
February 12, 2011
Make it Work – Without Fur
Project Runway host and chief creative officer of Liz Claiborne, Tim Gunn has a message for designers at this year’s New York Fashion Week: Don’t use fur!
Along with PETA fav’s Taraji P. Henson and Olivia Wilde, Tim appeared Thursday night at Stella McCartney’s boutique with rep’s from PETA to spread the gospel of animal rights activists everywhere! He spoke out to fellow designers saying:
“I’m on a campaign to get as many fashion designers as possible to stop using it. I’d just like to sit with them and have a talk and ask, ‘Is it really necessary?’”
It’s so awesome to hear such influencial people in the fashion industry saying no to fur, as well as designers themselves, like Stella McCartney who is a longtime supporter of animal rights and doesn’t use leather or fur in her designs. If Stella can do it, ANYONE can do it!
November 18, 2010
Bite my Style
Okay, enough with the guilt-tripping already. As a vegan fashionista of sorts, I am always on the lookout for non-wool, non-leather finds. Stop me if any of these products are made from the innards of some poor creature, but here’s some winter vegan finds I’ve scoped as of late.
1) Slouchy wool-ish boots from ALDO:
2) Peacoats from Vegan Couture.
How happy am I that Leanne at Vaute Couture didn’t make these coats in my colour this year? Otherwise, I’d be a couple hun broker. Actually, I feel very ambivalent about not owning one of these babies immediately. Much the way I feel about the shade of red of this coat. Did I mention that Vaute Couture is the ONLY line of stylish winter vegan coats you can wear in really ridiculously cold weather… Loves these Chicago finds.
3) Stockmaster Wedge from Spring
Looking for the pair I bought on their website just now, a voice in my head was saying: get off the site! Because I might find something of fancy… On Saturday on Robson, this store is the busiest one, busier than ALDO, and they have really good sales on top of dece prices. And because they’re a lower price point, many of their shoes aren’t animal flesh.
4) Oh my god Gloves
Velvet gloves bring a touchy of dainty to a rowdy rainstormy day. I sound like a writer for ModCloth now.
I saw a pair identical to these at Winners recently, which by the way is a heartless money-grubbing corp that carries a smattering of defenseless animals’ fur dyed various colours and tacked onto tacky fashion pieces. If you find these gloves at Winners, I recommend you steal them.
Moral Dilemma: non-animal products from evil corps? Or animal products from local, “eco” corps? You can have it all. Be stealth. Ask for change.
Velvet gloves. Perfect for ladies who long to loll about, without hurting animals.
5) Make your own cirlcle scarf!
You know these circle scarves at American Apparel… well I thought hmm… 35 $, no. And I went down to Dressew and bought some dreamy lavender lycra material and asked my seamstress to finish the edges and connect the ends as one. Fabric was $10, sewing $15 or if you have a sewing machine – free!
Eff wool. Eff animal agriculture.
February 24, 2010
Ice Queen, Johnny Weir, Gets Owned
Olympic figure skater, Johnny Weir, might not care about the animals who suffer for his vanity, but many others do. After spouting off some nasty comments about animals and animal activists, Weir has realized the emotional impact of his decision to put fur on his skating costumes and has agreed to replace it with faux. Although of course he goes down bitchily.
“I would like to announce that due to pressures and threats from a certain animal rights group, I will be changing the genuine fox fur on my free program costume that I will use in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, B.C., to white faux fur. I made this decision after several threats were sent to me about disrupting my performance in the Olympic Games and my costume designer, Stephanie Handler, was repeatedly sent messages of hate and disgust. I do not want something as silly as my costume disrupting my second Olympic experience and my chance at a medal, a dream I have had since I was a kid. I hope these activists can understand that my decision to change my costume is in no way a victory for them, but a draw. I am not changing in order to appease them, but to protect my integrity and the integrity of the Olympic Games as well as my fellow competitors.
Just weeks away from hitting my starting position on the ice in Vancouver, I have technique and training to worry about and that trumps any costume and any threat I may receive.”
Johnny Weir is entitled to have hopes & dreams, but the animals who died for his costumes who spent their lives in tiny boxes only to be anally and vaginally electrocuted and then skinned alive are SOL.
I see Johnny changing his tune as a victory for animal rights. The issue hit the press, Johnny tried to justify the animal cruelty he was promoting, and the devastated response was so strong from the rest of the world that he was stopped in his figure skates.
Weir goes on in this statement to talk about protecting his integrity. Huh? Doesn’t integrity have something to do with adhering to a moral code? That usually includes doing no harm, and Weir makes it clear that if it was up to him – he would harm, harm away.
Who knows what kind of threats were sent Weir’s way; not all activists function the same. Has an activist threatened to do to Johnny what he indirectly inflicts on the animals he wears? That would be… poetic justice wrong. Maybe one day people will choose non-violence for themselves without pressure from others.
Here is some other stupid shit Johnny Weir has said:
“I totally get the dirtiness of the fur industry and how terrible it is to animals. But it’s not something that’s the No. 1 priority in my life. There are humans dying everyday. There are thousands if not millions of homeless people in New York City. Look at what just happened in Haiti. I tend to focus my energy, if there is a cause, on humans. While that may be callous and bad of me, it’s my choice.
Every skater is wearing skates made out of cow. Maybe I’m wearing a cute little fox while everyone else is wearing cow, but we’re all still wearing animals.”
Okay babe, firstly, compassion to animals includes humans. Just because people advocate the humane treatment of animals, doesn’t mean they are not contributing to human rights issues. Usually those who are concerned about animal welfare choose a non-violent lifestyle in as many ways as possible.
And for the record, the fur and cattle industry are not comparable. Leather is a bi-product of the meat industry – the fur industry exists solely for people like you. People are against wearing fur because it is superfluous. Taking down leather is a feat for another day, although there are many other materials that function just as well.
“There was a lot of attention put on a tiny piece of fur. While I do understand anti-fur activists views about fur and the fur industry, they aren’t part of my life. One thing that is horrible is when somebody pushes a belief on you like a religion. I was definitely threatened and felt very threatened. People are nuts. I’m an easy person to pick on because I’m very open I like fur and I like things that come from dead animals. It’s easy put your cause against an athlete going to the Olympic Games, it’s good free publicity for these activists.”
Let’s recap here: the attention was not on the tiny piece of fur, it was on Weir’s choice to promote fur products and the fur industry. Weir discusses people pushing beliefs on him like a religion. Got news for you hon, the fur industry exists whether you believe in it or not. The pressure you have received for your fashion choice is nothing compared to the violence suffered by the animals you’ve been wearing. Weir has tried to play the role of victim claiming that he’s being picked on because he’s a big mouth “very open”. Just not to compassion, evidently. Well the activists who have been taking advantage of your purity have not been in it for their own glory, they’re just tired of fighting the battle against the intolerable cruelty of the fur industry.
But essentially we’ll give Johnny a pat on the fur-free back for choosing faux.
His integrity is blowing our minds.
February 4, 2010
Top 3 Pro Fur Needless Violence Celebs
You don’t have to be intelligent to be famous these days; all you need is a mostly naked and mostly bald gf and cap locks:
WHEN IT’S ALL SAID AND DONE, REMEMBER THE FEARLESS, REMEMBER THE DREAMERS, REMEMBER THOSE WHO REPRESENT THE GHETTO…THE FAIRY TALE OF NOTHING TO SOMETHING. I’M BRIEFLY SADDENED BY NEGATIVE COMMENTS, BUT I HAVE TO REMEMBER THOSE PEOPLE ARE SCARED, INCAPABLE OR JUST PLAIN IDIOTS. WE ARE THE F*CKING ROCK STARS BABY. NO COCAINE, JUST LIFE MY NIGGAS!! NO COCAINE, JUST LIFE! IT’S FUNNY TO ME WHEN FASHION BLOGGERS DOWN OUR OUFITS AND THEN SUPER JOCK OUTLANDISH SHIT ON THE RUNWAY BUT THEN THEY DRESS MAD PRUDE AND DON’T LIVE FASHION. WE LIVE IT MAN. F*CK THAT, WE LIVE IT!!! WE LIVE IT SO HARD PEOPLE LIVE THROUGH US! WE REPRESENT YOUR INNER SPIRIT!! THE CHILD IN US ALL, THE BRUTAL HONESTY, THE NAIVETY, THE BRAVE WARRIOR, THE ADRENALINE THAT ALLOWS A MOTHER TO LIFT A CAR IF HER CHILD WAS TRAPPED UNDER IT! REMEMBER, THERE WAS A TIME WHEN EVERYBODY DISSED MICHAEL JACKSON EVERY CHANCE THEY COULD. IMAGINE THE PRESSURE OF BEING A TRUE ICON. VERY FEW HUMAN BEINGS ARE STRONG ENOUGH TO TAKE CONSTANT HATE!!!
For all purposes, we’ll consider ourselves fashion bloggers here.
Kanye loses his focus in the first line… something about ghettos and fairytales. Then he explains how normal people shouldn’t wear fur, maybe, but rockstars can. But they can’t do coke, or something. Then he calls out all those who don’t wear fur for being poor dressers, or actually “mad prude” (I resent that ‘Nye – I LIVE fashion motherfucker, I F*CKin LIVE IT MAN!!!!! and don’t wear carcass). He further explains that to show your inner spirit you must steal the spirit of another. Whether this spirit is from the animal he’s wearing or from Michael Jackson, we’re not exactly sure. So in conclusion: if you want the adrenaline to lift a car off your kid, wear fur and get a girlfriend who dresses like a teletubby (we’re not saying she’s a gold digger…). Mmmkay?
BTW, it’s not just the fashion bloggers who dislike you, ‘Nye.
I mean, Kate Hudson isn’t really about “faking it”. Just check out her acting. You want to like her, she has a cute kid with girl hair, and yet that’s where her motherly instincts stop. Kate’s fur fetish is inherited by her mother, Goldie; they romp the streets of Aspen in stolen skin. But that’s no excuse; it’s up to the younger generation to repair the mistakes of our elders, so Kate, pause from man-hopping for a moment and nicorette yourself onto the fabulous faux out there. (Crazy – Almost Famous is on TV as I write this…) Kate, since we’re fashion bloggers 2day, we’re labeling your look: Almost Faceless, cause your boots (and probably coat) once had a face and you ripped it off of them.
3) Samantha Ronson
“It seems lately I am learning that there are too many people who put another species before their fellow man and that’s sad. I don’t wear fur, but I don’t think I have the right to ATTACK those who do. No one has that right.
PETA should focus their efforts on educating people on what they believe are injustices instead of seeking press via harassing those in the limelight...p.s.s. i think there are plenty of families that could have used that flour for a meal. nice job, lady.”
And there are plenty of animals who could have used that skin!
“There is nothing remotely ‘fashionable’ about the torture and death of animals killed for fur. Lindsay Lohan might be able to ignore images of bloody animals skinned alive for their pelts, but we hope a dash of flour will help her rise to the occasion and forsake fur once and for all.”
@ SaMan: if you were to be attacked, which would you prefer?
a) your skin ripped off your body as you twitch in unimaginable pain?
b) having flour dumped on you?
January 17, 2010
It’s Better than Yours!*
A commentary on “Milkshake” rapper, Kelis’, recent temper tantrum
Here is the letter than PETA recently sent Kelis for wearing fur:
I hope that this finds you well. I’m writing today because we’ve been inundated with phone calls and e-mails from folks alerting us to photos of you wearing a fur hat and coat while out in London over the weekend.
Please know that animals killed for their fur endure immense suffering. Foxes, minks, coyotes, and rabbits—and even dogs and cats—are bludgeoned, strangled, genitally electrocuted, and even skinned alive for their pelts. We hope that you’ll take a moment to watch an undercover exposé of fur farms, hosted by Eva Mendes, at http://www.peta.org/FeatureEvaMendes.asp.
If you enjoy the look of fur, renowned designers, including Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Stella McCartney, and Vivienne Westwood, couple fashion with compassion and use only faux fur in their lines. We hope you found this information helpful and will join countless celebrities, like Charlize Theron, Khloe Kardashian, Nia Long, Kid Sister, Pink, and Michelle Obama, in publicly swearing off fur.
And HERE is her reply:
On wearing fur:
“…it’s not just the look of fur. It’s warm as hell and feels glorious, ever rubbed faux fur on your body? Nothing luxurious about that. Then the letter proceeded to name artist and designers who don’t wear real fur. Great! More for me! I don’t judge them, don’t judge me.
“If I started wearing endangered animals like polar bear or orangutan then talk to me. (Which btw for the record I would not – I do believe in the preservation of endangered species) But the minks and chinchilla that quite honestly are rodents and if weren’t in the form of a coat I would demand they be put to death anyway are not an issue to me.”
Kelis would demand rodents be “put to death”. Who in Diddy’s name does one-hit wonder, Kelis, think she is?? Wearing endangered animals is heinous, but wearing animals who are bred for their skin is just as horrific when you know the conditions they live and die in: confined and isolated in cages they can barely move in, only to be skinned alive.
And in terms of faux fur not being luxurious, perhaps Kelis hasn’t seen what is being produced these days. Designers no longer want to be associated with the bloody fur industry and have put their efforts into creating soft, realistic faux fur. Always be skeptical in terms of what you’re actually buying (!) but I’d advise Kelis to shake those milk jugs to the store and open her eyes.
On eating meat:
“There is no humane way to kill anything, let me start there. It’s unfortunate but it’s part of life. With that being said, I would eat pterodactyl if you found some and you told me it was meaty and delicious…I eat meat, and in fact my mouth salivates as I type the word meat!“
Kelis is playing the typical resentful meateater here, threatened by those who have chosen a new diet, and feeling the need to defend her choice to stick to the old ways. Killing is part of life, she communicates inaccurately – killing is part of her life. And we barely need to remark that some ways of killing are more humane than others. When lying on your deathbed, would you prefer an OD of morphine, or say… being skinned alive?
On how PETA should find a more “worthwhile cause”:
“If u want to preach do it about something worthwhile don’t waste my time trying to save the dang chipmunk. Find a worthwhile cause like the women being maimed in these Middle Eastern countries. Or female circumcision. Or women’s rights here in America, we still get paid less for doing the same jobs as men.
“Quite honestly if you hate the world so much go live in the forest where no one else has to hear you complain about the perfectly good food chain the good Lord created. Everyone has the right to an opinion, and that’s mine on that! xoxo”
When someone knows you have a point and knows they can’t debate on your intellectual level, what do they do? They change the subject.
Why yes, Kelis, there are other atrocities currently taking place. Where is your sign? We’d love to get behind you.
Kelis then accuses Peta of hating the world (though she’s the one not only wearing animal cruelty but publicly speaking out to support it) and goes on to describe our current food systems as being created by “Lord”. Human beings have fucked up the food chain to the point where there is no chain anymore. Humans eat anything and everything, and most humans have nothing at all to do with the killing part. The food chain represents an “eat what you can kill” mentality, and very few of us kill our own food. Even fewer of us can bring ourselves to take a look into the slaughter of the animals we eat because it’s disgusting and traumatizing. As real musical artist, Paul McCartney says: “if factory farms had glass walls, we’d all be vegetarian.”
*And here are the milkshakes you’ve all been waiting for:
1) Cookies & Cream
1 cup crumbled sandwich cookies (vanilla or chocolate)
1 cup Chai soy milk
1 cup vanilla soy ice cream
2) Green Tea
1 cup vanilla soy ice cream
1 scoop Vega protein powder
1 teaspoon matcha green tea
1 cup Natura vanilla soy milk
3) Peanut Butter Chocolate
1 tablespoon of smooth peanut butter
1 cup of peanut butter chocolate soy ice cream
1 cup Natura chocolate soy milk
1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
In your face, Kelis!
November 29, 2009
Fur Free Friday
Below is a partial vid of Fur Free Friday. Jon Gosselin 2.0 enjoyed spuing random facts at us about how B2 doesn’t sell real fur (see below), claimed we were “always” at this B2 location (we’d never been there before), and then he threatened us with some bylaw ticket.
Prior correspondence with B2:
Shame on B2/Brown’s shoe company for selling dog fur from China!
B2 Shoes has 2 locations in Vancouver, 1112 Robson St (604-687-3383) and 650 W 41st Ave, (604-261-2071). Recently they have brought in men’s and women’s winter jackets with HUGE raccoon dog trims on them. The jackets can be viewed at this website, http://www.mackage.com/.
The jackets are actually labelled ASIATIC RACCOON, and in fact there is no such animal, if you google asiatic raccoon the first thing that comes up is RACCOON DOG, a species of canine from China.
Click here to view footage of a fur farm in China where raccoon dogs are having their skin removed when they are not even close to being dead, or even unconscious, http://www.peta.org/feat/chineseFurFarms/index.asp .
The company claims that the jackets are in fact raccoon (not that it matters to us which species it is), this is the answer we got:
“I have attached the letter that my supplier has written you explaining your concerns about the fur trims used on his garments. Also attached are Chinese appraisal reports confirming that the furs used are in fact Raccoon and not dog.”
Click here: b2, to read B2 further try to defend themselves.
A Shocking Look Inside Chinese Fur Farms:
When undercover investigators made their way onto Chinese fur farms recently, they found that many animals are still alive and struggling desperately when workers flip them onto their backs or hang them up by their legs or tails to skin them. When workers begin to cut the skin and fur from an animal’s leg, the free limbs kick and writhe. Workers stomp on the necks and heads of animals who struggle too hard in order to make a clean cut. When the fur is finally peeled off over the animals’ heads, their naked, bloody bodies are thrown onto a pile of other animals. Some are still alive, breathing in ragged gasps and blinking slowly. Some of the animals’ hearts are still beating five to 10 minutes after they have been skinned. Before they are skinned alive, animals are pulled from their cages and thrown to the ground. Workers bludgeon them with metal rods or slam them onto hard surfaces, causing broken bones and convulsions but not always immediate death. Animals watch helplessly as workers make their way down the rows.
Undercover investigators from Swiss Animal Protection/EAST International recently toured fur farms in China’s Hebei Province, and it quickly became clear why outsiders are banned from visiting Chinese fur farms. There is no national animal welfare law in China, which means that farmers can house and slaughter animals however they see fit. These animals suffer miserable lives and excruciating deaths. The investigators found horrors beyond their worst fears and concluded, “Conditions on Chinese fur farms make a mockery of the most elementary animal welfare standards. In their lives and their unspeakable deaths, these animals have been denied even the simplest acts of kindness.”
On Chinese fur farms, foxes, minks, rabbits, and other animals pace and shiver in outdoor wire cages, exposed to driving rain, freezing nights, and scorching sun. Mother animals—who are driven insane from rough handling and intense confinement and have nowhere to hide while giving birth—often kill their babies after delivering litters. Diseases and injuries are widespread, and animals suffering from anxiety-induced psychosis chew on their own limbs and throw themselves repeatedly against the bars of their cages.
Is There a Skeleton in Your Closet?
The globalization of the fur trade has made it impossible to know where fur products come from. Animal skins move through international auction houses and are purchased and distributed to manufacturers around the world. Finished goods are often exported. Even if a fur garment’s label says that it was made in a European country, the animals were likely raised and slaughtered elsewhere—possibly on an unregulated Chinese fur farm.
Because fur’s origin can’t be traced, anyone who wears any fur at all shares the blame for the horrific conditions on Chinese fur farms. The only way to prevent such unimaginable cruelty is never to wear fur.
August 6, 2009
Sizzlin’ Summer Fashion
*Boycott Procter & Gamble, like the wand sez!
(above photo was taken by my friend, Flint, of Hand Cut Films. He’s a supastah – check him out.)
June 7, 2009
Commercial Street Style
April 8, 2009
In the quest to eradicate fur, should animal lovers nix faux fur, too?
Below is a clip of Beyonce (also a promoter for l’Oreal cosmetics, which tests on animals) being made to face the facts of what she’s perpetuating in her clothing line.
Beyonce defers to her mother as she gnaws on a chicken bone.
Some animal rights activists disagree with wearing faux fur because it perpetuates the trend of the ‘fur’ look, making it sometimes hard to distinguish which fur is real, and which is fake. I understand and respect this viewpoint of wanting to shift people’s minds from associating fur with fashion to associating fur with unabashed cruelty, however don’t think that cutting humane fur alternatives from our fashion diets is the solution. I believe humans are drawn to the soft and fuzzy fur-like texture and naturally seek a range of materials in our fashion self-expression, and so instead of denying ourselves of that furry feeling, the best solution is to seek humane alternatives.
Humane alternatives, however, do not consist of “recycled” fur, such as Sunny Fong’s brilliant idea last night on Project Runway Canada to use “Peta friendly” fur from old coats in his new line, the gentle-demeanoured soul failing to consider how this line would be created on a large scale if successful and failing to realize that he is advocating a material sourced (though maybe not purchased himself) from the unnecessary suffering of animals.
All ideas come from nature, the umbrella being based on the the idea of a tree, for example. And so just as the veggie burger and the veggie dog flourish, though they sometimes look indistinguishable to meat, so can faux fur substitute our cravings for the soft and fuzzzy IF it’s purchased using thorough investigation (see HOWEVER below). Yes, it makes it harder for animal activists to pinpoint passing culprits on the street, which we naturally train our eyes to do, but for those who would die for fashion, faux fur could become an effective compromise to elminitate the use of all fur in fashion while not eliminating similar textures from the fashion vocabulary.
As awareness spreads about the realities of the animal industry, the world will continue look towards substitutions. It is possible for the extremists of both sides to come together if we provide obtainable ways for meat, fur, and leather lovers to consume cruelty-free substitutions. Diets which deprive are usually given up entirely. Bad habits are more easily quit if they are replaced with an equal, positive behaviour.
Foie gras and veal lovers speak of a waged “vegan war” in which the vegans seek to convert meat eaters and consumers of animal products through an if-you’re-not-with-us-you’re-against-us holy war type crusade. This war is laughable, of course, to most vegans, who are vegan due to their compassionate natures and want to end the violence, not start it.
Okay, this is some mad justified, fun “violence”. Lohan is a faux-lesbian, so it’s reasonable and timely that she make a switch to faux-fur.
The fur industry is sickening and horrific, animals often skinned alive and twitching in their bones before they die. Alternatives are available, making it possible for replacement instead of depravity.
Check out this dope vegan shoe site: www. ragazzivegan.com, for example, which carries faux-fur footwears such as:
And even this:
And, OMG, even this:
Animal activists have made a lot of headway for eliminating fur from fashion, and some designers have coalesced:
- Anne Klein
- Calvin Klein
- Donna Karan
HOWEVER because faux fur has come so far in looking indistinguishable from the real thing, controversy remains.
Peta’s attitude is that as long as it isn’t real, who cares if it looks like it is. But Carol McKenna of the UK anti-fur pressure group Respect is concerned. ‘I used to think fake fur was brilliant, but now it is indistinguishable from the real thing, I fear that the designers using it in this way are perhaps promoting real fur,’ she says.
Also, some designers, in a compromise to use less fur, have begun to mix real and fake together, such as Fendi, which is a pretty lame effort.
When buying faux fur inspect it carefully:
- Real fur, when you blow on it, will separate in a nearly perfect circle.
- If the fur is real, you will see the animal’s whitish skin when you pull the fibers aside. If it’s faux fur, you’ll see a webbed backing instead.
- “Buying fur out of China, there is no guarantee what you are going to get,” Leppert said. “The consumer can have zero confidence.” (There are no animal welfare laws in China – how terrifying is that???)
- EBay Canada indicates how to know if you’re buying real fur, and – though it’s written for old school dead-inside people who do want the real stuff – it has some tips on deciphering which is which.
Loopholes And Labels:
“Falsely advertising or mislabeling a real fur product is a violation of the federal Fur Products Labeling Act, which the Federal Trade Commission is empowered to enforce by seizure of false or deceptively advertised or labeled garments, the initiation of proceedings for injunctive relief, and the imposition of monetary penalties, which can range up to $5,000 per violation.
The violations documented by The HSUS include a Burberry brand jacket advertised online by Saks Fifth Avenue as “faux.” The jacket’s label does not indicate that it contains fur, but laboratory tests reveal that it is trimmed with rabbit fur. The Fur Products Labeling Act currently requires the labeling of fur apparel only if the garments contains more than $150 worth of fur.
So if you choose to wear faux, be careful of the sneaky, horrific fur industry. Buying from a vegan site like Ragazzi is safer than a department store because they adhere to different ethical practices. If you chose to claim your fashion right of wearing faux fur, take all the measures to assure what you are buying is actually faux.
Cruelty-free fashion is the dawn of a new era~
April 1, 2009
East Coast vs West Coast Street Fashion: The No-Longer-Sub Culture of the Hipster
Is there a difference in street fashion from one side of North America to the other these days? Or have we all become fashion clones, letting the ads tell us what to wear? Along the shrouded remains of the buildings formerly known as the World Trait Centre, New Yorkers rush past what did or didn’t happen in their city daily, a blank spot in their city’s identity.
So how is this affecting the city’s fashion identity?
The dominant street style in New York has become that of the hipster, a style which Adbusters recently described as “the dead end of Western civilization”, depicting hipsters as extremely aesthetically conscious, but essentially self-obsessed, hypocritical, and apathetic.
What do these supposed fashion zombies dress like? The male hipster might be seen wearing a peck-baring v-neck T, a busboy vest, a fedora, and some scraggly facial hair, while the female hipster might wear an ironic t-shirt with a logo such as “I Listen to Bands That Don’t Even Exist Yet”, fringed boots, and a few pin-on buttons (think “I’m Rockin’ On Your Dime” not “Save the Seals”).
Most hipsters also enjoy the all-pervasive skinny jean, the American Apparel hoodie, neon Rayban shades (lenses optional), and the staple keffiyeh scarf (though hipster mecca, Urban Outfitters, stopped selling keffiyehs in 2008, purportedly because of the Arabic garment’s terrorist symbolism).
Other New York favourites are the dress-length plaid shirt and the once dorky patterned rubber boot.
Hipster style is often considered a modern twist on Bohemian style, as it’s supposed to be effortless, but effortless in hipster terms means straying just far enough from the pack to still be considered hipster (any use of the term in self-description rendering all efforts null and void), because while hipsters reject “mainstream” fashion, they also submit to conformity within their own style.
Bohemian culture may have thrived in neighbourhoods such as Greenwich Village before it thrived elsewhere, but hipster culture is just as rampant in other North American cities, its quirky stylistic components scavenged mainly from corporate establishments.
The keffiyeh scarf is especially popular in L.A., given the city’s hot-sun-cool-breeze climate. Hipster style swarms Los Angeles areas such as Los Feliz, Venice, and Melrose, but L.A. also ranks high in the fashion freak show category, with its bursts of dirty glam – fur coats in grocery stores (the big nasty ones), bare chests under suit jackets, and puppy-type-animals in purses.
The Los Angeles climate also attracts its share of urban Grecian princesses, with side braids, floor draping maxi dresses, and gladiator sandals, as well as android men equipped with fast-track-to-fame Bluetooth ear pieces – (and no, they are not talking to you even when they’re looking right at you).
L.A. fashion is not always as it appears on the glossy magazine pages. Though the Three’s Company high-waisted wide-leg jean currently graces ad campaigns and tabloids, the skinny jean still rules the streets of L.A..
And on the opposite end of hipster style, unabashed in its flaunting of excess bling and loud branding, the Christian Audigier tattoo-on-clothing look has gonge forth and procreated from L.A. this year, recently knocked off by none other than Gucci in its “Tattoo Heart” collection.
Merging the caring-a-lot Audigier culture with the not-caring-too-much hipster culture in Los Angeles is the Jackie O look – three-quarter length sleeved jackets with mod bibbed collars, large buttons, and flared waistlines, perpetuating the fertile-sexy look of 2007. The coat, sported by both the flashy and the irreverent in L.A., is often found in houndstooth and plaid patterns, and given names such as “The Royal Family Secret Jacket”.
Vancouver, sometimes referred to as the L.A. of the North, has an inner-city density following only that of New York and San Francisco, creating a metropolitan lifestyle in which people’s clothing becomes their vehicle.
Vancouver hipsters embrace high top runners, leg warmers, patterned tights, and, more than any other metropolitan city I’ve been to – the Dorothy bicycle-with-basket, but Vancouver’s downtown shopping districts are also marred with predictable corporate storefronts, giving the city a somewhat homogenous street fashion flavour.
Vancouver’s main winter look consists of bright peacoats and slouchy, pointy-toed, mid-calf height boots. The most universally frequented store among Vancouver female shoppers is Aritzia, the store’s “TNA” triple loop found so commonly on stretchy pants and hoodies that you sometimes forget that Talula National Athletic also stands for Tits N’ Ass.
Though Aritzia is mainstream in its prevalence, it also appeals to the hipster scene through affiliations with Vice magazine.
Beyond hipsterism, a minority of Vancouverites are making a switch to Green Fashion, meaning buying and wearing clothing that is produced with organic materials, using no animal products, and not made in sweathshops. Several small clothing manufacturers assmebled last month at The Spring Living Fair on Main Street to showcase their designs; the only drawback – cha-ching!
Perhaps the only new street fashion subcultures reaching past the whatev hipster realms (though the city is home to hipster haven, Haight Street) can be found in San Francisco.
Take the circus style, derived from the 50,000 attended Burning Man festival, which consists of black, white, and red clothing with Beetlejuice-esque stripes, layered under long gothic coats.
Alternately, at a small dive bar in the Mission District called Amnesia, you can find – swing dancing to Balkan music from the roaring 20s – guys in suspenders, newsboy caps, and baggy knee-length golf pants, and girls in pin curls and flapper potato sack dresses. How refreshing.
So with the current coast to coast omnipresence of hipsterism, does the Western world have to get over hipster style in order for underground fashion to be reborn? Maybe the lull in the corporate economy will spark the creation of “post-hipster” street style. Possibly, we can look forward to seeing the Western world’s translation of recession-chic on the street in the near future, which will hopefully include at least some lines drawn up the backs of calves and homemade masterpieces, or at least some Value Village clothing collages.
- Disclaimer: These classy individuals featured above (including Roco) were all super fantastic to shoot and are not being classified as hipsters (not that there’s anything wrong with that : D ), they were just some colourful, friendly street examples.