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Fur Coats, as a Controversial Fashion Garment
Cloth making entails the use of distinctive raw materials to make garments that people use for different purposes. Some of the raw materials used in cloth making are animal byproducts such as skins, hides, feathers, and fur. Over the years, the use of animal by-products as raw materials for cloth making has turned out to be extremely controversial because endangered animals are killed to provide the raw material for the fashion industry. This essay explains why fur coats as fashion items are questionable in the fashion industry today.
The choice of clothes a person wears tells a lot about his or her mood hence, a reflection of what is inside people. In addition, research shows that clothes make a statement about things that may make people uncomfortable. According to Alison Lurie, even if people wearing clothes were not introduced, the clothes they wear could be used to tell about their age, social class, and individual opinion on certain issues, ethnicity, fashion taste, inner feelings, erotic interest, and sexual status (Lurie, 245).
Controversy in fur garments
The use of animal fur to make fashion garments is controversial because the practice of killing an animal is cruel as many animals are killed and their shin removed while still conscious. Statistics indicate that millions of innocent animals are killed every year, to supply the fashion industry with enough fur. The controversy deepens because the supporters of fur garments argue that a person should have the freedom to dress in garments they see fit. Those who oppose the use of fur in making fashion items argue that numerous comfortable fashion alternatives are available at present.
Therefore, the fans of fur garments should not be excused for wearing fur (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
Garment made from fur is controversial mainly because, the increasing demand for fur, corresponds with the number of furred animals slaughtered or killed for their fur. Normally, the size of a garment made from fur dictates the number of animals be killed to provide fur for the garment. Therefore, the increased acceptance and consumption of fashion items made from will lead to furred animals being endangered. Fur farms contribute to the environmental pollution problem in terms of animal litter and sewerage. Animals are the largest source of methane, which is a greenhouse gas. Opponents of a garment made from fur argue that fur farming is environmentally unfriendly, besides being unethical (Hile, 113).
The opposition against the use of fur to make fashion items is not restricted to a particular social class, gender, religion, or society. Individuals and organizations, concerned about the welfare of animals lead the protest. Some of the well-known organizations that oppose the use of fur in fashion and advocate for the respect of animals include PETA of USA, CETFA of Canada, and CIWF of UK (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
According to Lurie, people dress differently depending on the mood and occasion (245). For instance, some people dress to make an impression and usually wear bright-colored clothes. Fur coats are flamboyant and are worn during parties such as evening parties. A person’s form of dressing may offend another, but delight the wearer of the fashion garment ascertains Lurie (245). This is the case with fur garments. The controversy surrounding the use of fur in making fashion items is a personal issue because some individuals consider animals do not have rights, while others believe animals have the right to live. In addition, in some cultures, slaughtering animals for food or fur is acceptable. Those who oppose and support the use of fur in cloth making do it out of personal conviction (Goodale and Black, 2).
Why Fashion Matters
The language of clothing can be unconventional, conventional, straightforward, or complicated ascertains Lurie (185), and be used to explain the purpose of fashion. She also adds that the constituents of the language of clothing can be judged against those of unwritten communication. However, every fashion constituent is more complex than a verbal utterance since one change in any fashion style, fabric, color, size of the fashion item or pattern, transforms the entire message of a garment (Lurie, 200).
Fashion is noteworthy because it defines who people are, and it can be used to make a statement or define the mood of an individual. Fashion emphasizes the importance of color in a garment. As a result, it can give some information about the wearer’s frame of mind. Fashion has been used to describe the sexual energy of an individual. For instance, the color red in fashion garments are used to illustrate love, while the color blue is used to show tranquility. In a study carried out by Ramirez, the Pachuca’s fashion garments were perceived as disgraceful, because they contravened the rule of dressing as pertained women (1). According to Ramirez, fashion garments are used to express oneself in a unique style (1). Fashion is significant because it defines people.
Goodale, Greg and Jason Edward Black. Arguments about animal ethics. Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2010. Print.
Hile, Kevin. Animal rights. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2004. Print.
Lurie, Alison. The language of clothes. Vol. 73. New York: Vintage Books, 1983. Print.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. “Animals Used for Clothing.” 2012. Web.
Ramirez, Catherine Sue. “Crimes of Fashion: The Pachuca and Chicana Style Politics.” Meridians 2.2 (2002): 1-35.