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I wonder what would be the result?


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I have just have the pleasure of a return to the UK for 2 weeks.

I spent time in Leeds, where the Harvey Nichols manager was under pressure to quit following issues of her wanting real fur back in her store.

Around Leeds I saw lots of faux fur, collars and waistcoats. I did see a real mink jacket.

I had a stint in Derby, same thing.


On to London, and so much better. Still lots of faux, and better quality. I had to look 4 times at a large blue fox stole before I concluded it was faux.

Saw some great real furs, Camden market and as always, the bottom of Bond Street, Burlington Arcade. Full length minks, red fox waistcoat etc.


I got to thinking. Given the AR groups in the UK always trot out '90% of UK women would not wear real fur', I wonder if it is true?

I wonder if a survey conducted on the street asking these ladies in faux fur if they would prefer the garment they are wearing to be real fur would paint a different picture?


A gut feeling says 'yes', but how to prove.



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Don't forget! Fifty percent of the people in the U.K. make up half the population!


The point is that statistics can be used to manipulate any political argument in whatever direction a person wants to use them.


How did they reach that conclusion? Did they actually ask EVERY woman in the U.K. whether they would wear fur? Not possible!


How did they ask the question? Was it slanted to suggest a particular answer? (e.g. "Would you wear a coat made from dead animals?")


Under what conditions were the question asked? If it was at an anti-fur rally, of COURSE people will answer no! What if the interviewer asked the question in a coercive manner that made the person feel uncomfortable if they didn't answer the "right" way?


It is NOT POSSIBLE to say that ANY ad-hoc survey is reliable in ANY way! Statistical methods MUST be used and the sampling must be done in a very neutral and methodical, scientific fashion. I can guarantee you this survey wasn't.


Basically, political groups depend on people's stupidity in order to get them to believe the cause at-hand.


Otherwise, advertisements like, "Four out of five dentists surveyed would recommend Trident Sugarless Gum for their patients who chew gum," would never get off the ground.


Stop! Think! How stupid is that statement?

Who was the "fifth dentist?"



Basically, that question is B.S.

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Worker - agree, 'lies, dammed lies, and statistics', but in all honesty, I would have loved to have done an on the street survey asking just those ladies wearing faux if they would have preferred the real stuff.

I think the majority would have said yes.



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I agree with Worker in the sense that statistical methods need large samples and require the removal of any bias or implicit pressure to skew the results one way or the other. If a survey question is about a sensitive issue where one answer might stigmatize the surveyed person, he or she might refrain from telling the truth. Yet, if many women in the UK are so scared to say they would wear fur, this might be an indication that they might refrain from wearing fur even though they are perfectly OK with that. I mean, the same pressure that makes them say they would not wear fur would also make them not wear fur (Oh, what a great logic!)


Another point is that women you see on the streets may not correspond exactly to the "women in the UK". This is especially valid for London, where I know from my personal experience that many women wearing real fur were Russians or Italians, so they would not "count" in a survey of the UK women.

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Auzmink and all,


As Worker and Samurman have stated, a lot of statistics can be misleading or misinterpreted to fit an opinion. Leaving aside the way that some surveys as such are collected by the use of leading questions - and it can be quite difficult to pose a complex question neutrally - often the sample size is so small as to be irrelvant,however the results were collected. I think back to several of the adverts for leading hair and beauty products on television, which happily through around figures like "90% of women rate our product the best" - only to read below in the small print that around 1,000 were asked, sometimes only around 100. For mulitnational corporations, that's a laughably small data set to quote in a campaign.


But on your question as to whether asking wearers of faux fur if they would rather be wearing real fur, I'm not sure whether that would reveal anything particular other than a lack of information about real fur among the general public. There are many reasons for or against wearing real fur, and many reasons why someone may be wearing faux fur without having even considered real fur as an alternative. I would expect that anyone asking such questions might end up spending more time discussing the merits or ethics of real fur to those being surveyed, but possibly not changing their opinion drastically or immediately so that they would rush of to buy real fur.


I'm not sure it can be definitely proved statistically, but during my last few years in the UK and occasional winter trips back since, there does seem to have been a lot more women wearing real fur, and faux fur is extremely popular too. (Sadly I doubt I'll get back to London this winter to see if that is still the case.) I don't think I've spoken to faux fur wearers on my travels but have spoken to lots of women in real fur who have of course already made that decision to wear it, often younger women wearing it for only a short time rather than older women who have been wearing fur for decades. I found that contrary to what Samurman stated, there are (or at least were) a good number of British women wearing real fur: a good number of students wearing trendy vintage furs as well as women in their 30s through 70s and above wearing a range of minks, foxes and other furs both new and older pieces. There were of course plenty of tourists and resident migrants wearing real furs too, but the proportion of British women in fur, especially younger woman, was the most pleasing memory from those seasons.


One thing that comes to mind is the accesses and availablity of faux fur to the consumer market as opposed to real fur. Few high street chains in the UK stock any real fur, even as trims or collars on garments, but the "furry" look is clearly very popular given the range of fake fur coats, jackets, vests and hats available to buy in the larger stores. You'll see a few real fur items and trims in more exclusive stores or smaller independent boutiques, sometimes in the biggest department stores too. In years past, charity shops were a good place to find second hand and vintage furs but that is very rare these days, although some street market stalls still furs happily if you know the right ones to visit. Other than these places you can also buy furs in a professional furriers, although these are shrinking in number each year or moving off the eye-level of the big high streets, and of course online through auction sites.


It seems to me that you have to make an effort to even see a real fur for public sale whereas at this time of year every high street clothing shop with have a few fake fur jackets or gillets in their display windows, enticing passers-by to stop in and try them on at least, if not buying one. I think it is this visibility of faux fur compared to real fur that isn't giving the average consumer the choice to wear real fur.


Luckily here in Spain, real fur is far more acceptable (or at lesat tolerated) and more readily available to consumers. All manner of high street stores, big department stores, local independent boutiques and street market stalls sell and display furs openly. From personal sightings, there are fewer younger women wearing real fur here than in the UK (maybe that trend has yet to arrive) but many older women wearing all manner of furs even when it isn't that cold for me. Among the younger women though there are a lot of real fur hoods, collars, cuffs, trims worn on their jackets and coats, and a good number of fake furs around too, which also sell and are displayed in shopfronts in good numbers. As this is my first winter in the centre of Alicante, and fur season has only just arrived in the few days, I'll let you all know how the season progresses.



Mr Mockle

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