A few months ago, Queen Elizabeth’s clothing stylest changed history when in a memoir, she informed us that the queen will do her best to not wear fur. In addition to vowing to severely limit her use of already-existing fur products, the stylest, Angela Kelly, says that some of the furs in the wardrobe will be replaced with more animal-friendly options.
Kelly wrote: “If her Majesty is due to attend an engagement in particularly cold weather… fake fur will be used to make sure she stays warm.” These days, an increasingly large body of research and awareness is making its way into our hearts and minds. By now, it’s clear that industrially raising or catching animals poses some difficult ethical and environmental problems. So the time is ripe for people to start taking action. Good job, Your Majesty!
A Tiny Bit of Fur Biz History
The UK, and certainly the Royal Family, and fur go way back. When North America was being colonized, Britain had lots of stakes in the enormous fur industry that was emerging there. As they struggled to expand their lucrative fur-trading territories, they had to fiercely compete with France. By the end of the 18th century, Britain had fur-trading outposts scattered across the east coast and the Great Lakes region.
The colonies and the empire did really well in the fur biz and big-time improved their economic and global status. Moving forward through the subsequent centuries, fur became a pretty prestigious and valuable clothing material. It became increasingly associated with a status of wealth and affluence. Of course, this is before widespread environmental or animal rights awareness. Nowadays, fur is starting to be phased out in much of the West
The Queen Makes an Admirable Decision
If you look at pictures throughout the last few decades, you’ll probably notice that on many occasions, the queen is wearing fur apparel. So, needless to say, she has lots of fur in her wardrobe. Her stylest stressed that they will not be throwing out all the fur in her wardrobe (the damage is done, and that would be a waste), but they will stop acquiring new furs, and the queen will no longer wear them.
This is nice to see. It’s also good to see that many major fashion designers, such as Gucci, Michael Kors, and Versace, to name a few, have also announced plans to phase out fur. In fact, the UK was one of the first countries in the world to make fur farming illegal: this happened almost 20 years ago. Since then, many countries followed suit, including Austria, Japan, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Norway, Belgium, and quite a few more.
Nonetheless, in many countries, including the UK, importing fur remains legal. There are a couple of things that need to happen (and keep happening) if we want to at some point in the near future completely phase it out. We need public figures, like Her Majesty, for example, to keep speaking out and making their plans to stop using fur public.
What can you do? For one, it’s important to stay updated regarding the problems involved in using fur as clothing. You can volunteer in animal rights groups. You can get involved in environmental activism. Obviously, also, you can simply decide to not wear fur. And last but not least, you can read about other big figures that phased out fur and talk about them and their initiatives to your friends and family.