Lucy and Tiffany Watson have added their voices to a campaign aiming to educate people on the difference between real and fake fur.
Lush Cosmetics has collaborated the Humane Society International UK in response to worrying discoveries that some shoppers have been unwittingly buying real fur from brands who’d mislabelled items faux fur.
The Made In Chelsea stars explain how to spot the difference in this helpful video:
The animal loving sisters grew up on a farm and are now vegan.
HuffPost UK caught up with them to ask why they wanted to get involved in this campaign and what they say to those who make an argument for the idea of ethical fur.
“The fur industry has always appalled us,” explained Lucy.
“We’re both try to promote compassionate lifestyles as much as possible, so the idea that other ethical consumers are being duped into buying cruel fur was just really shocking.”
The duo want to help dispel misconceptions about what real and faux fur look like.
“When most people think of fur they think of big mink coats and fox fur scarves costing hundreds of pounds,” continued Lucy.
“In reality, conditions on fur farms are so appalling that real fur can be produced very cheaply, with fur bobble hats or keychains bought for as little as £2.99.”
“Also lots of people think that if fur is dyed pink or blue it can’t be real – but it can. So this video is a fun way of getting across a really important message.”
Tiffany added: “Lucy and I are both animal lovers and it’s really upsetting seeing people wearing dead animals as pompoms - and a lot of the time without even knowing that the fur they are wearing is real because the labels can lie.”
When asked how they’d respond to the idea of ethical fur, the sisters took a dim view of the notion that production of real fur could be anything but cruel.
“There is no such thing as ethical fur,” Lucy stated.
“The animals killed for fur are so similar to the animals we share our homes with.
“The thought of my beloved dog Digby, or my latest rescue pup Marley, being treated like that for even a minute makes me shudder.
“I always say to people, if you wouldn’t wear a dog – don’t wear fur.”
The British Fur Trade (BFT) were contacted for comment and they were happy to oblige.
A spokesperson told HuffPost UK: “Is there really a moral distinction between eating meat, wearing leather, hides or silk….or choosing fur?
“It should be about the welfare of the animal whilst it is alive not what it is ultimately used for.”
The spokesperson added that fake fur is part of the fast fashion trend, “where items are kept for one, maybe two seasons and then thrown away.”
Whereas, according to the BFT, “real fur lasts for years and is often remodelled, thereby extending it’s life.”
They argued that fake fur and synthetic materials are not more ethical because we are “increasingly aware of the devastating pollution of the marine ecosystems caused by microfibres and the open oceans caused by plastic waste.”
But the Watson sisters don’t necessarily think two wrongs make a right.
Tiffany highlighted how pointless wearing real fur is.
“There is absolutely nothing ethical about fur,” she added, “it turns my stomach and it’s just so unnecessary to wear it.
“Fur is, as Gucci said recently when they announced their fur ban, outdated.”
It is her hope that other brands follow Gucci’s lead and stop selling fur.
On a fun note, the sisters had some great recommendations on where to find real faux fur on high street.
Lucy recommends Topshop, as they “do some really lovely soft faux fur accessories,” and she also loves “the bold faux fur pieces in Mango at the moment.”
According to Lucy, Shrimps is great for statement pieces, though they’re in a higher price range.
Tiffany had more brands to look into: “I really like Helen Moore, they specialise in luxurious feeling faux fur items.
“I have to also mention Stella McCartney of course – if you really want to treat yourself her faux fur is incredible.
“On the high street I think that River Island and Accessorize both use faux fur in really fun bright ways.”