Saturday, February 25, 2006

GB #17: Fur as 'Eco-Fabric'

Hmmm... Sound to me like the fur industry has taken a cue from the nuclear energy industry: the former bills itself as "climate-neutral," and now the latter is labeling itself an "eco-fabric." From Treehugger:

From Canada's Montreal Gazette, we learned that the "spinning" of traditional products into the green marketing category can come from unexpected quarters. "A hot global economy and the marketing of fur as a cool "eco-fabric'' are feeding Canada's fur trade, according to the Fur Council of Canada" Wow. 'Now can you tell me Ma'm, is that a certified "wild-caught" fur or is it one of those farm raised jobbies where the critters get fed anti-biotics?'..."Average prices for mink, beaver and other furs jumped by 30 to 40 per cent over last February at North America's largest fur auction in Toronto last week, [Fur Council of Canada] executive vice-president Alan Herscovici said". Reportedly the fur industry, "has undertaken a major campaign to promote fur as "the ultimate eco-fabric.'' (Fur promoters market it as a natural fabric, in which only abundant, not endangered species, are used. Also, they say buying it supports people who work off the land and have an interest in protecting nature)".

The longstanding rule was that the gents could afford a hot gas guzzler only when they were bald and pot-bellied, by which time the 'hot-versus-not' contrast was painfully obvious, a psychological comb-over. The womens' corollary was that the long fur coat generally came with wrinkles and a dowagers hump. Same issue with being out of sync.

According to the Gazette report, the stereotypes are shifting. Young women are avidly buying less expensive, small fur acutrements and trim elements for their clothing. And the guys are...we'll we don't know actually.

This news is bound to provoke some strong reactions. Rather than just elicit complaints and walk away, we thought it would be good to propose a legal mechanism to keep this new market accountable for "protecting nature".

The new law we'd like to see passed would mandate that "the purchase of articles made from wild-caught fur be allowed only if the purchaser or direct recipient of a fur article gift from said purchaser agree in writing, at the time of purchase or gift receipt, to attend an annual trappers banquet, where they will be required to choose from a menu of sautee'd mink, stewed muskrat, or boiled beaver. Owners failing to consume the full meal as served will be required to return the purchased item for no refund. Re-sale net proceeds will accrue to an account for ecoomic assistance to rural communities, and the re-purchasers again will have to sign the dinner pledge.

So, what's next? "Organic" oil (it is carbon-based, after all)?

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