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Enviromental cost of making a fur coat


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One of the distinctive pleasures about living in the UK nowdays is the constant barrage from the media about 'organic' this and 'greenhouse' that. Not wishing to downplay it, just to let our foreign members realise how much a feature of everyday news it is here at present.

Consequently, is the making of a fur coat 'green'?

We all appreciate its natural qualities, sustainable, etc, but is it more carbon friendly than a 'fake' coat?


Now, how that could be calculated or worked out might require industry input, but I thought it was worth opening to discussion.....



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SAGA's site is very honest and open and explains how they are trying to improve the environmental impact, aswell as improving the welfare , studying the animals etc. Well worth a look through.

However, it is far more eco friendly than any synthetics, and the longevity because of the value far outweighs the repetitive wasteful consumption of synthetic clothing too.


At the end of the day animals are infinitely renewable as a resource....any clothing made from non natural ways are not.


It is people in polyester and acrylic who should be getting the red paint chucked at them.

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Consider the primary ingredient of fake fur. OIL


What cost oil????? The REAL cost of oil to the environment we know to be at least three times the actual barrel cost. It's a free ride for the oil barons untill it all runs out and our planet is hopelessly polluted by it.


Buy real fur if you want to save the planet.




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There is a girl character called Vicky Pollard here in the UK whose catch phrase is 'Ah but yeh but no but'. She says this because she lacks the intelligence to come up with a constructive answer to a question and responds by saying something totally irrelevant or inept. As is the case with the anti-fur brigade. You put forward the argument that animals are an infinitely renewable source and fake fur is made from oil and is damaging the environment. To which they respond, 'Ah but yeh but no but, it's killing fluffy animals and rich people wear fur.'

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Yes that's all marginally true but who gives a f%@k.


When we've totally F%@ked up the planet what do we argue about then? Regardless of how ineptly.





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When we've totally F%@ked up the planet what do we argue about then? Regardless of how ineptly.


We'll be arguing about who F%@ked up the planet!


People are so busy arguing and being fearfull about things the whole time, that they dont even realise they have a life to live on this miraculous planet. They probably wont even notice when the lights go out. Too busy being afraid of dying to notice that they have lived

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Good point allfurme; the argument of the antis is just like that.


OFF. You are right. Oil is the thing f****g the planet.

Hopefully the people of the Arctic will be heard next year....International year of the Arctic.


They are going to tell the rest of the industrialised world some uncomfortable home truths.


I can't wait to see McCartneys face. I may have to throw red paint on his polyester clothes.


But its isn't just about that. Alternative use of land other than animla use, is disastrous.


Palm oil, logging, deforestation, gm soya, coffee and sugar plantations.


remeber when Argentina had a thriving fur industry supplying chinchilla from rances and nutria (hunted for meat and fur) from the forests, and cattle and gaucho roamed the mountain lowlands?


This is what happens when you get rid of animal dependant economies, and it happens the planet over;




This lie of hunting and fur being bad must stop. The alternative to animal use is eco catastrophe.


We need to start putting the case over every opportunity.. The PETA Vicky Pollards need their nose rubbed in this and it MUST stop. It was done in anticiqaption of feeding the world with gm soya...buT nobody wants it...70% goes to feed EEC pigs and battery chickens in China.

If Greenpeace have any credibility wharsoever they must support the Rio Declaration on the Environment and recognise traditional methods are the best way of preserving habitat. That means SUPPORTING the fur trade.


BUT we in turn must attempt to have welfare of animals as important. So we should buy free range meat...not factory farmed meat. If you do not know the origin of your meat, then buy it from local farmers and butchers...they will tell you what it has been fed. If it is cheap and frozen generally it will have been fed this gm soya.

you have not only contributed to the destruction of the forest, and terrible animal welfare , and transport half way around the world with climate damage the result, but also the

destruction of the traditional rancher, and the fur trade.


This is a very difficult concept for the lowest common denominator media brainwashed. But it is true, and needs to be put over forcefully and intelligently at every opportunity.


And animal welfare with furbearers? The proof of the pudding is in how beautiful it looks. You cannot get good quality fur by mistreating animals.

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Morals existing in nature and whether we're seriously going to ever have the capacity to turn the world into a junkpile aside, at the end of the day TOS's point that animals were renewable still stands as does OFF's notes about the oil situation.


I could argue the word 'infinite' to death in this case -we don't have a truly infinite amount of anything that I personally know of and no I don't need an example of something we have an infinite amount of to prove I'm an idiot for not seeing it- but animals *really* are renewable so long as they are carefully managed and oil (at the rate with which we demand and consume it) *really* is one day going to go away leaving us high and dry (assuming we don't find a new means of energy) and I can be tthat along the way there are some of us who are really going to f%@k the planet up.


It is a bit of a stretch to say that buying real fur will save the planet, or keep it green, or that by doing so we'll be poking Big Oil in the eyes.


I work retail and I've seen the cost of plastic go up three times over the course of this summer (which forced me to change prices three times on items with plastic in them this summer) each time going up. If the price of oil doesn't stop and we keep pumping it out of the ground like we do, we're not going to have to worry about whether real fur is the better choice over oil created fake furs.


The fake ones will be more expensive than the real thing.


These teen activists need to stop thinking about how they're going to stop making people wear fur, eat meat, and whatever they're going off about now and start questioning how they're going to stop their generation from continuing on the really destructive work of our generation and the generation before us and we really f%@k things up for their grandkids.

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The only real environmental cost of fur that I can't think of an explanation for is the tanning process.


Maybe I should just "Google" it or look it up on Wikipedia, as I usually do but I'll just ask now and look it up later.


What kind of chemicals are used in the tanning process?


Are they reused, recycled or used for some other purpose?


I know, in the past, tanneries used to cause more than their fair share of environmental problems but I can't imagine with all the environmental regs in place, these days, that this would still be a problem?


Okay... Just for the sake of arguement, let's say that tanning produces toxic byproducts. Would tanning pelts for fur offset other environmental pollution?


So, in other words, if we tan pelts for fur, we don't use as much oil to make synthetics and the offset is that the end product is MORE environmentally sound even though tanning liquor is toxic.

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Good post.


Roll up roll up!

Get yer horses here! Oil is running out!


Seriously though. When a man who has made millions through mass production from essentially oil made products and transport of them around the world, and homogenise the whole world with pop culture to the detriment of indeigenous ones, how on earth has he got the cheek to lecture the Inuit? It leaves me dumbfounded that the media let him get away with it and supports my belief that they are frightened of upsetting PETA et al because of their vast advertising budget.






Animals are infinitely renewable if they are well managed.


It takes a hundred years for some trees to grow.

A thousand for them to turn to coal.

Millions to form oil.


It takes less tha a year for a mink to be able to reproduce and rear another litter.

So work it out. Two mink are soon a million.


And they don't eat soya. they eat our left overs of meat and fish...they are quite often situated near abbatoirs. So again they are eco friendly by consuming waste.

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Worker mentioned the only part of the fur industry that, to my knowledge, might have an environmental impact - tanning of the pelts. While I have no specific info on chemicals that might be used, I do know that there are several methods by which a pelt can be dressed (another term for tanned).


As Worker stated, more research is needed to properly answer the original question.


There can be other than environmental effects to the choice of method for tanning pelts. Here in Alaska, many natives in remote villages use urine as a tanning agent. The result is some native made products have a very distinctive (and frequently strong) odor.

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To all who replied, thanks. I think this is a great topic, and certainly an emotive one.

From my limited perspective, the carbon cost of either a fake or a real fur might be similar.

Once you have the raw product, I would imagine the 'coat' making to take a reasonably similar time (ok quicker by fake as its not a quality product) but use of building lights / heating etc would be the same.

However, the raw products - eg pelts or fake fabric are were the carbon cost might be different. The tanning process is the difficult one in my mind to assess, re carbon cost of the chemicals, environment friendly use, etc, etc.

As regards the 'fake', we have no doubt to where it comes from and the 'cost' but how much energy is used to turn it into 'fake'?

Also, what happens after. Do we all put our furs on at home, turn the central heating down and save energy bills, or is this something we should 'promote'.

I've always thought a mink dressing gown would be a wonderful winter snuggler, perhaps with mink slippers!!!

Over to you all......


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There is also the question of longevity . A real fur keeps its quality far longer than faux, or any synthetic coat....yet eventually is rectclable or completely degradable.


A tirn polyester coat wguch looks shabby is discarded to landfill. You don't remodel or re invent it. The thing is then stuck there for thousands of years.


The tanning pocess does as said use chemicals but these chemicals are often things like urine or similar . There is nothing wrong with urine...no germs in it.

Also salts are used first and then mild and fairly natural chemicals like tannin.

There are a wealth of documents on the net also about new methods which reduce that impact of ammonium salts and liming process...so it is getting better all the time.


But in any case when you procuce a garment it lasts. Now many people van say they have a polyester or acrylic coat that has lasted them longer than a couple of years in a decent state. First cigarette burn or tear and its in the bin and out you go and buy another.

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My point about oil is not over fur ultimately but abandoning it as the primary source of energy alltogether.


We have to in order to save our planet and that's where PeTA and other of the "Envioronmental" groups get miss directed. The oil barons couldn't be happier over this missdirectioning.


They also short circuit [pun intend] any effort like Electric Cars. See "Who killed the Electric Car" in your local theatre. The oil barons in cahoots with the Car Barons of course. Many very real alternatives have come to us and ahndled like the movie short of "When Bambi Meets Godzilla". The short is 30sec. long with Bambi being stomped flat.


Since the rest of our lives is dependent on oil, to compare under current circumstances weather fake or real fur is more efficient is an excerscise in futility. Like rearranging the deck chairs on the sinking Titanic.



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Could not agree more, especially as PETA would like to also see the end of 'fake' coats as they glorify what could be.

However, given the UK's almost media frenzy on these carbon issues, ultimately I would suspect a fur coat would cost more in 'carbon' to make, but would save more in the long run were it to be used more often, such as around the house. Stories of OAP's being found hypothermic during winter show testament to the relative cost of heating, but look at the data on fur insulation for our Russian friends - it is still the best insulator.

Given the many varied forms of anti fur propoganda out there, wouldn't it be nice to know how environmentally friendly a fur coat is with actual data estimation. Difficult I know, probably almost impossible to calculate, but a stimulus to thought.


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I've been doing some reading on the tanning process.


There are two main processes: Vegetable and Mineral.


Vegetable tanning liquor uses tannin from tree bark but it doesn't produce the quality of product and it's more time consuming.


Mineral tanning liquor works a lot faster and produces a better product but it uses hexavalent cromium... One of the most toxic chemicals on the planet.

However, there are alternate tanning methods that use the less toxic trivalent cromium or use aluminum salts in place of cromium.


There are also methods to recycle the tanning liquor and other methods to remove the toxic chemicals from the spent solutions before disposal into the waste stream.


I think I found a good document on the environmental aspects of tanning, in general. I want to read it over more thoroughly before posting it. I'll let you know what I find out.

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I can't really see the point in finding out what goes into manufacturing a product, what ever it is manufacturing it will damage the planet in some way. However the advantage of real fur over the fake stuff and paper bags over plastic bags etc is that they will or can be degraded.


What p*sses me off in my area is they will collect degradeable items; food waste, paper even metal cans but they won't collect f*cking plastic (man-made materials) which is what is f*cking this planet up.


All this recycling is a load of b*ll*cks because they don't recycle stuff that won't naturally recycle.


(Bad day at work)



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Yes sadly recyocling here...I don't know about OFF's part of the world where it does sound more serious....is a sham.

70% of it still goes in land fills. they only recycle at the plants when they have clients for the product.


OFF's comments are very true.


And the Coroprate Oil, Chemical and mass production sthrhetics, and intensive gm arable farming barons have come up with a new CHURCH tp brainwash people into swallowing their seizing of the land from animal dependent economies:


"They've got these energy companies who want the land

And they got Churches by the dozen just to guide our hand

And sign over Mother Nature

to pollution was and greed.

Bury My heart at Wounded Knee"


(Buffy St. Marie)


Well know the "Church" is the absurd belief sysyem, virtually a warped religion with brainwashed disciples among celebs and media...PETA.


It is a bit odd don't you think that such a bizarre ideology should grow up at the same time as a massive global industry geared up to marketing synthetic oil based synthetics, fuel and cheap arable crops to the worldwide homogemised pop culture masses?


There is no way it is a coincidence, and the role of the Tides Foundation and other global industries in funding these groups proves it.


This is about so much more than fur.


It is about saving and fighting for the land and all its wildlife. About saving the way of life of people they call savages and animal abusers when the truth is it is such people who STILL have the great Canadian, Scandinavian and Russian forest, the Arctic beyond, the English countryside or the Navajo reservation, the Bedouin saluki hunters ,the Bantu hunting lands, the welsh hill sheep farmer or the Argentine gauchos of the pampas or the hunters of nutria in the forests, or the cattle ranchers of Texas . These are the people who have protected the wild, nursed the animals.


This is a war.


It is simple.


It is a range war between animal dependant ecomonies and developers, oil companies and global industry who want to have a homogenised world market for everything form training shoes to oil, heated malls, cars and Heinz spaghetti (WTF is that crap? people EAT that?).


They want the land that animlas are on, and PETA give them the justifying moral "right" ro take it.


How many times do you see:


"why wear fur when there are synthetic alternatives these days?"


Yeah right.


Over your dead body. Or if not then over the permanent extinction of animals and the catastrophic destruction of the climate.


Get ready.


There are dark clouds gathering. The baptism of the syntheitic people has begun and is sweeping the world.


It is we have a moral right to stand against them. For the sake of the planet.

Civilisation versus savagery is right.

Civilisation has a terrible record in detsruction of habitat.

Us savages must win.


There is no middle ground in this war. You cannot be anti hunting and pro fur. You cannot be pro leather and anti fur. You cannot be pro fur and support unsustainable logging.

We must stand shoulder to shoulder with all TRADITIONAL animal economies. Time for the cowboy and the Indian to stand together against a great evil that would replace all with uranium and oil.


And when the enemy start throwing red paint again....WELL DAMN WELL THROW GREEN PAINT BACK AT THEM!!!!!

Metaphorically speaking; of course.

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First the very good news:


At this point in history we actually have the technological capabilities to very quickly move away from oil as our primary source of energy. Five years tops to complete conversion and it will employ many more people.


We have other multifold technologies available this very day to clean up all our crap. It will take a lot of time and employ many more people.


We also have the technology this very day to live far more efficient, healthier AND better lives than we currently live. It will also employ many more people.


Now for the very bad news:


We are fearful and lack the will to do it. Browbeaten by those we follow. The economy goes into the toilet and fewer people are employed.


The criminal politicians and corporate criminals counter every move to these new technologies at every turn. The fat cats get fatter while the economy goes into the toilet and fewer people are employed.


The sheep that follow the politicians and corprate kings to their drum beat commit unseemly acts of diversionary deeds, actions and retoric that seem like environmentally friendly motives, like PeTA among many others. They assist the "Leaders" in directing our attention from the real objectives.


The followup good news:


The lying political and corporate criminals are more frequently and blatantly stepping on their own peckers to the point where their lies and deceptions are failing to convice even the densest bystander.


I'll step down from my soap box now for this thread.




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A big round of applause please all for OFF!!!!


A brilliant post.

As long as we don't have to have those wind things. They are killing our red kites.

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