Vicki Woods writing in the Daily Telegraph recently talks about the dilemma that many people face when it comes to fur. Some people are vehemently against it and will never change their mind, no matter what. That's fine by me. After all it's a question of choice and I've talked about that on many occasions. Others would love to wear it but worry about what others will say. That's something that needs to be challenged.
But before we get there let's review some of the interesting misconceptions. Whether for effect or artistic licence, Vicki says that 'everyone knows you can't wear fur in London.' Actually, if you've spent any time travelling on the tube or walking around London in the last few months you'll see that's not the case. And it's not just tourists from colder climes who are putting in an appearance for fur. Vintage has been a big trend for several years now and real fur accessories are everywhere you look.
Clearly something that's high on everyone's agenda especially ours is the subject of animal welfare. We are working tirelessly to ensure the highest possible standards. It's easy to pull out isolated examples to condemn the whole industry in one fell swoop but this overly-simplifies the debate.
There's something else really interesting afoot to add to the mix too. The clichéd image of an older woman wearing a full-on traditional mink coat is nowadays a rarity. The fur trade has been quietly transforming itself. New techniques see fur being mixed with other materials such as leather, silk and wool just for starters; it can be cut, woven, knitted - the list is endless. When you add in new processes for finishing the fur to introduce new colours and textures you can see that the choice of what type of fur to wear has grown massively. Indeed as Vicki says, real fur can sometimes look like fake to the untrained eye. It would be closer to say that today's fur often doesn't look the way we expect it to look based on outdated notions of the industry.
The point is that wearing fur today doesn't have to be about ostentation and in-your-face wealth. Fur exists across a spectrum of price points and in a wealth of styles and looks, meaning that today it's a far more accessible choice on every level. But you don't have to take my word for it. With over 400 designers worldwide now using fur on the catwalks of London, Paris, New York and Milan and well as fresh new talent using the material - check out our Remix competition that supports young designers globally - fur is set for a positive future.