Since making the jacket in the studio on Friday, it’s been hanging opposite my bed, waiting for me to add the final touch in the construction and sew on the sleeves.
Looking back at the photograph of the jacket on the mannequin in the studio however, it looks so sleek and classical minus sleeves and collar that i’m reluctant to do so.
What i feel might be more beneficial, is to continue sewing together the teddies i have into pelts, and attach these as bulbous, over sized should pads/ sleeves. This might make the jacket look somewhat less classic, but will add a contemporary edge, don’t you think?
Whilst researching current fur trading standards, i came across two quite conflicting stories from PETA and BFTA, and so I contacted these two organisations, with similar questions to try to get to the bottom of the conflict. Here are their answers…
(firstly BFTA, then PETA)
Does the BFTA work closely with fur farms in order to enforce certain standards on a regular basis? If so, how often are these checks carried out?
The British Fur Trade Association (BFTA) is a member of the International Fur Trade Federation (IFTF). The IFTF promotes strict codes of practice that meet or exceed established and accepted animal welfare standards for wild and farmed fur. The BFTA and IFTF strongly condemn cruelty to animals and do not trade in endangered species.
Fur farming is regulated according to national, agricultural and environmental standards, EU directives and professional codes of conduct and guidelines.
Fur farming is well regulated and operates within the highest standards of care.
In the European Union, Council Directive 98/58 sets down rules covering the welfare of all farmed animals, including fur farmed animals. Directive 93/119 deals with the slaughter and killing of fur and other farmed animals. Additionally, the Council of Europe adopted a Recommendation, revised in 1999, designed to ensure the health and welfare of farmed fur animals. The Recommendation deals comprehensively with matters of animal care, from the farming environment to stockmanship and inspection. Its requirements have been included in the European Fur Breeders’ Association (EFBA) Code of Practice. The Recommendation is legally binding in Germany, has been incorporated into national law in Finland, Norway and Denmark. In addition, fur farming is covered by the same EU environmental laws that apply to all EU agricultural sectors.
In North America, fur farmers also follow strict Codes of Practice and conform to provincial, state or national animal welfare and other regulations. Regular veterinary checks are carried out in accordance with industry guidelines, provincial, state or national requirements. In the United States, a Merit Award programme has been introduced by the fur sector in consultation with veterinarians, animal scientists, wildlife biologists and farmers. The Award covers standards for the humane production of fur bearing animals and is achieved only after an independent inspection of the farm.
In Russia fur farming is covered by agricultural and company legislation, as well as specific laws on fur animal breeding.
Many producer countries have national authority or self-regulated industry inspection and reporting schemes, involving veterinary or other official scrutiny. For example, in Norway, a scheme is in place that involves 30 inspection groups who travel round the country visiting fur farmers. A veterinarian is assigned to each group. Conditions on farms are thoroughly checked and advice on improvements given when required.
Origin Assured label – this gives consumers confidence that the fur they are wearing comes from countries where welfare legislation and tough industry standards are in force.
Origin Assured (OA™) is a fur industry labelling initiative designed to promote transparency of product origin. Just as people wish increasingly to know the sources of their food, coffee and clothing, research among designers and consumers has shown that they too would like to know about the source of their fur.
When consumers see the OA™ label they can be assured that, wild or farmed, the fur comes from a country where national or local regulations or standards governing fur production are in force. OA™ Labels can only be used on items which are 100% Origin Assured fur. The Origin Assured initiative is independently monitored.
Welfare is at the heart of everything we do. It has to be, as the rules on the care of animals that apply to a fur farmer are actually tougher than the rules that apply to, say, a dairy or sheep farmer.
Can the BFTA guarantee the legislation for every fur farm in the UK?
There are no fur fames in UK.
Most farmed fur, which accounts for 80%-85% of the global fur trade, comes from Europe and North America. The largest producers in the EU are Denmark, Finland, Netherlands and Poland.
Does the BFTA and IFTF supply fur to more design houses than Chinese exporters?
The BFTA and IFTF do not directly supply fur to design houses however. The world’s largest auction houses are in Copenhagen, Helsinki, St Petersburg, Seattle and Toronto.
The skins are sold in graded and assorted bundles or lots, which buyers have an opportunity to view samples of during the inspection period before the auction.
Buyers are predominantly brokers, buying on behalf of their furrier clients, or dealers or merchants whose companies sell finished skins to furriers or manufacturers around the world. The high value and volume of skins handled means that entrepot trade can have a high economic impact in countries which are not, in themselves, traditionally large markets for finished furs, for example, the United Kingdom.
BFTA fur broker members buy a large part of the world’s fur at auction such as in Helsinki, Copenhagenand North America representing a turnover in excess of £1 billion a year for the UK.
Are PETA’s statistics showing that China is the worlds number one fur exporter true? As the BFTAclaim this of their organisation and the fur farms that they represent.
Yes, eighty-five percent of the fur industry’s skins come from animals living captive in fur factory farms. These facilities can house thousands of animals, and, as with other factory farms, they are designed to maximize profits—with little regard for the environment or animals’ well-being.
Consumers need to know that every fur coat, lining, or item of trim represents the intense suffering of several dozen animals, whether they were trapped or ranched. These cruelties will end only when the public refuses to buy or wear fur. Our investigations have shown that animals farmed for fur are treated inhumanely, and we discourage the use of any animal’s fur, regardless of whether the animal is a coyote, a dog, a lynx, or a cat. PETA’s own investigation into a fur farm in the United States found foxes being killed by anal electrocution in which an electrically charged steel rod is inserted into the animal’s rectum, literally frying her insides. Exposed broken bones, upper respiratory infections, and cancerous tumors were among the wounds and diseases endured on this fur farm without veterinary treatment.
Most animals killed for their fur are raised on fur farms but many are caught in the wild by traps. There are various types of traps, including snares and underwater traps but the steel-jaw trap is the most widely used. The American Veterinary Medical Association calls these traps “inhumane.” This simple but barbaric device has been banned by the European Union and a growing number of U.S. states, including Colorado, California, Florida, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Washington state. Arizona does not allow the use of steel-jaw traps on public lands.
As far as i’m aware, PETA is an organisation based in America. Is there a headquarters in the UK?
Our affiliates PETA UK are based in the UK. Check out their site here.
Are PETA’s articles based on fact, and anyone actually working in the sectors that have been targeted?
We are a non-profit animal rights organization committed to ending animal abuse and exploitation and have no reason to give false information. We have campaigns on DKNY, Burberry and other companies that sell fur.
As of the work in progress crit on Friday, it seems that my link link between teddy bears and the fur trade is too vague. This is making me consider other options, such as using real fur (obviously old fur) in the coat instead? An anti- Fur Coat…
Another subject i want to address is the use of other materials that might be used in fur farming, like wire from the cages? Although i want the coat to look normal, up market and attractive and have these materials hidden.
I then thought of using animal blood to dye the white material i have. I picked some up from the butchers on the way home and gave this a go. Using a white denim, beige t shirt material and white silk, i dipped small squares of each fabric into lambs blood. The colour turns quite brown after a while, which is fine as i think it will go well with the fur i have, however im worried that if its in a hot gallery for a while it may start to smell or attract flies… yuck.
So i tested the same method with some household items; Beetroot juice, strawberry jam and ketchup. Ketchup resembles the blood the most but i feel like this might be cheating somewhat…