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Faux Fur: Hot or Not?

The following article was written by Ashley Palmer.

Faux fur seems to be a sticky issue for many animal activists. Some fear that wearing faux fur sends the message that real fur is fashionable. While others, like me, tend to disagree. But let me explain…

As a vegan, I choose to use my money as a way to vote. Whether I’m buying veggie burgers, cruelty-free mascara, or even a pair of vegan stilettos, I think that my dollar is one of the most powerful tools I have to influence social change. In my mind, buying faux fur sends the message that there is a market for that particular product, and buying it may encourage designers to incorporate faux—rather than real—fur into their collections.

If you want to send the message that you don’t have to hurt animals to feel beautiful, may I suggest you purchase one of these four fabulously faux-fur options?

First up, we have SpiritHoods. These unique hoods come in a variety of styles and animal looks that give you a chance to unleash your inner “animal spirit.”

SpiritHoods: Night Owl, $129.00

Give fur the “boot” in these faux-shearling (sheep skin) booties. They would look great with skinny jeans and an oversized sweater!

Madden Girl: Frontear Bootie, $39.94

A faux-fur vest can be a hard look to pull off, but paired with the right accessories, it can give you a look that’s both laid back and polished. Can you say “snow bunny”?

Fabulous-Furs: Grey Ruched Zippered Vest, $129.00 

This winter parka is doubly nice, as it’s both fur- and down-free. This faux-fur trim will give you a rough and rugged look, but the cinched waist will keep you looking pretty.



Steve Madden Faux-Fur Trim Hooded Parka, $74.90 (On Sale)

I do, however, understand and respect why many people choose not to purchase any faux-fur products. For those of you who are like me and do wear fakes, I encourage you to also wear one of PETA’s pins to make it clear that your clothing was not made from animals.

What’s your stance on faux fur? Share your opinion in the comment section below and join the conversation!

Commenting is closed.
  • Not A Dog Wearer says:

    I don’t like fur, faux or otherwise but I find it ironic that the Chinese are using real fur to imitate fake

  • Amy says:

    I understand Ashley Palmer’s premise, and I think that different approaches work with different people. Weaning people off real fur and real leather is, I think, a big step in the right direction. The sticking point, as noted by others, is not being able to ascertain whether real animal products are masquerading as faux. I suppose the only answer to that is to promote the legitimate companies and try to educate the public about only buying trusted brands. I don’t wear faux fur for all the reasons other objectors in the forum have listed, but I can see the trend functioning as a helpful way to, step by step, enlighten the public and undermine support for clothiers who use animal products.

  • sandra mason says:

    I never bought faux fur because I was afraid people would think I was wearing real fur. I didn’t want anyone to think that I would.
    I even refused to give a friend a hug when I saw her in town because she was wearing real fur. Then I read the article about China using dog and cat and I definitely won’t buy faux.

  • Amy says:

    Not hot b/c it promotes the IDEA of fur. No way.

  • Linda L. says:

    I do eat soy dogs and they look like hot dogs. I wear shoes that are faux leather and look like leather. It is tough to be vegan and I do cheat when there is nothing else to eat. I do wear faux fur. I think it is beautiful and can’t resist it. It is that simple.

  • AlexandraIrene says:

    My opinion is shown in the fact that I already bought the vest from Fabulous Furs as I have many other items. There are many women who still equate fur with glamour. To give them a viable alternative is good for animals. I tell people mine is a man-made fur not fake anything. And I absolutely love the look. I do feel glamourous wearing it. It’s easy to tell the difference if you get close up to the coat, animal fur is attached to a skin (and heavy) this is not.

  • Valerie says:

    I love faux fur! It affords me the opportunity to feel near to animals I love, while knowing the sweet babies are still alive. I’m also very proud and excited to tell people “I only do faux”. I also keep PETA flyer “skinned alive” handy and available to pass out.

  • Pat says:

    When I was a kid in the 1950’s, my mom wore a coat that actually had 2 dead foxes around the collar and my dad had gloves with rabbit fur as the liner. Even as a young child I thought it was GROSS! I’ve never wanted to wear any kind of fur.

  • Megan R says:

    I have faux fur trim on my TNA winter coat hood. For cold Canadian winters, having the faux fuzz is a must for protecting your face (or you could wear a balaclava, not cute). I was really happy to find a non-fur non-down jacket that was still fashionable and warm enough to wear to work. I agree wearing a PETA pin would clarify that you do not support fur. I am happy that people are at least making an effort to buy cruelty free clothing. I think if you are going to buy faux fur, you need to be certain that you are purchasing from a cruelty free company on a whole. Vote with your money!!!!! Do your research. Share your knowledge!

  • Catherine says:

    While the spirit hood looks fake the other items look too close to real and could easily be mistake for real by someone not in the know about fakes. I think better to not wear at all then wear a fake that could encourage someone to want to wear fur. I remember when I was a kid, maybe around 3 or so years old, and I would see furs and fake fur on pople or in stores and I’d be like “mommy I want fur see that girlhas one they have one why can’t I have one”. Do you want to influence some innocent little kid to think fur is cool and alright by wearing a fake they can’t tell at that age is a fake (that many adults can’t tell on looking from a distance is fake)? Fake fur thats looks real is a no no for me for that reason. Also I agree with the another commentor Vinny, what aould I say if I was aksed about it? I like the look of wearing dead animals so I wear fake dead animals (to paraphrase Vinny)? No thanks.

  • Rachel1066 says:

    I think faux fur and faux leather serve a purpose. One, it shows wearers of real fur and real leather that there are numerous stylish alternatives out there that don’t harm animals. Two, fur comes in and out of fashion, wouldn’t it be better to see everyone wearing faux and modeling faux on the runway? Like the look or hate it, some people will never stop liking the ‘look’ and I think it’s my job to show people who like the ‘look’ that there are cruelty free alternatives to their style choices. Believe, I love the look and feel of my vegan leather jacket, and I love to be able to tell people who compliment me on it that it’s 100% cruelty free. The ultimate goal is to get everyone to stop liking the look of fur and leather, the same as ending people’s taste for flesh, but until that day comes, why not turn people on to faux products, whether it be faux meat, fur, or leather?

  • Shell de Mol says:

    Since watching an animal get skinned live for it’s fur, I’ve removed all fake fur from my clothing. I just can’t have the stuff near me. To me it’s just a reminder of a horridly devastating act towards an innocent creature. There’s nothing ‘hot’ about that.

  • Michele says:

    I have found that wearing a faux fur hat or vest gives me ongoing opportunities to speak out against fur to individuals who would never otherwise strike up a conversation on that topic with me. When complimented, I cant wait to smile and genuinely say “Thank-you so much. I would never wear fur and this one is totally fake”. The conversations usually go back and forth with questions and comments…and a positive impression is ALWAYS made. I am agressive as anyone on this horrible issue and have learned that this tactic is effective, in addition to confronting fur-wearers and fur-sellers.

  • diane says:

    My problem with having faux-fur is that many people may mistake (and have mistaken) it for the real thing and that in itself promotes real fur products to those who may not realize the horrors of the fur industry. Before I became aware of the truth, I was always told that the leather and fur was a by-product of the food industry and that to waste the rest of the animal was therefore environmentally unfriendly. Thanks to PETA I have been made aware and no longer make those cruel choices.

  • claudia says:

    I have to be honest, I try to avoid even Faux fur..
    I think it is because i don’t want people on the street mistaking it for real fur..and yeah how can they really tell if it is fake or not… so i prefer to stay away from it..
    But you are right Kim, i think our purchasing dollar says a lot about our trends and buying habbit…
    So i will try to expand my options to faux faur…
    Hope nobody mistakes it for real fur!!!

  • nik says:

    No fake fur or fake leather for me. Most people just see it from afar, so there’s no chance to explain or read a button. I don’t want to encourage animal skin use of any kind so I don’t wear the fakes.

  • Neville Animal-Freer says:

    Unless you can test the garment you cannot tell if it is real or faux fur. So fauxget it !

  • josie says:

    Why would anyone pay $129.00 for something made from cats and dogs? Plus it’s ugly to begin with.

  • Bunny Munster says:

    I agree with the above article but there is a huge industry out of China selling to the US items labeled “faux fur” when after testing finds that it is indeed real fur.

  • Helen says:

    Unfortunately some faux-fur garments in Canada have been found to have cat or dog fur as the said faux-fur. So it is not fake at all. Companies will lie and cheat us to get us to buy their garmets. I am ashamed to say, as a Canadian citizen, that we allow imports of cat and dog fur into Canada. So I will not wear any type of faux-fur for fear I’m wearing a dog or cat who suffered terribly in those fur farms in China. And how do people know you are wearing faux-fur? To me you are still promoting fur as the person looking at you doesn’t know if its fake or real. Just say no to both!!!!!!

  • Tywana says:

    I agree that wearing faux fur is wrong. It says “while I personally don’t support the slaughter of innocent animals for fashion, I still think it’s ok for others and this is how I’m going to show my support for both sides.” I tried on a faux fur coat in a clothing store today, but couldn’t force myself to buy it. Deep down it just felt wrong and made me a little nauseous.

  • Renata says:

    It’s really a difficult subject. I tend to agree with the writer and think it’s good to show there is an alternative and that it sells. I also believe that we can recognise faux from real at least when we touch it. My husband instead says that it gives the message that fur is ok, people do not understand it’s faux and go and buy the animal one. I don’t have fur, period, but I have a trimming on something very cheap that came free with a postal order and I use it to walk the dog. You touch it and you understand, actually you just look at it! :).
    There are pros and cons for both positions, however if we opt for no fur at all then what about leather? Shoes, bags, …?
    All in all I believe it’s good to show compassionate alternatives and give money to the companies that produce them.
    Showing that we can have the same items but without cruelty will prove even more that people have no excuses to use cruelty. People like to have choices and dislike giving up their habits. We need to show that choosing vegansim they don’t give up anything apart from cruelty.

  • Anone says:

    Well, then along with faux-fur, we should stop eating veggie patties, faux-bacon, and all that. Really, people? Wearing faux shows people, that they don’t have to kill to be stylish. It shows there are alternatives, such as veggie patties for burgers! And I don’t think people should categorize that faux-fur looks trashy, because you shouldn’t stereotype someone who’s trying to help the cause.

  • Ray Cluse says:

    Can see both sides. But ultimately, the points raised here against faux fur are more in line with my thinking.

    Oh, and not to bust your chops, but “cinched waste” would be an awesomely horrible band name. (Think you meant “waist.”)

  • Hannah says:

    I wear faux if it does not look anything like fur and looks like barbie hair. If it looks like fur, I feel like I am telling people that wearing someone elses skin looks cool. It looks disgusting. It will always be disgusting to pretend to wear someone elses face and body on my person.

    And “Spirit Hoods” are really offensive. The American Indian community has come out against them time and time again as they are appropriating American Indians.
    That is one persons take, but I like her spunk. For more information on the controversy, do a google search.

  • Danielle says:

    I would feel uncomfortable wearing faux fur if it looks real…I would however wear it if it is VERY obviously fake and just fun looking! (plush toy style!)

  • cassie says:

    I like faux-fur- it’s warm and cozy. I also like spreading the idea that you can both avoid the real thing without giving up the look and feel. If a decision is easy, people will be more likely to make it. When it comes down to it, my goal is to not have animals die and suffer for humans. If wearing and eating faux animal prevents this than go for it.

  • Jordi says:

    I feel that fur & leather are essentially the same thing, dead skins. I,myself, do not buy products from China. I will wear faux products because I love fashion & love showing others that faux is better! You can achieve a look & feel happy knowing that nothing died for your pleasure! I will not purchase cars with leather interior either. I feel it is hypocritical to wear leather but not fur.

  • thomas moore says:

    We don’t need this either.

  • catbyte says:

    I avoid it. I don’t like the look of fur–faux or real–and don’t trust products from China.

  • Melanie says:

    I love wering faux fur as it is snuggly but I like the kind that looks plush rather than too realistic looking. I wold never want to give anyone the impressuion that it is ok to wear fur

  • KC says:

    I agree with Vinny, and the ones who commented that China and other countries use dog and cat fur in their “faux” products.

    Why encourage people to wear fur whether faux or not?

  • Reader says:

    Fur of any sort simply looks trashy. Anyone wearing it – faux or otherwise – looks a right moron. I especially loathe those ridiculous fur-trimmed hoods, although it’s nice they cover half the wearer’s face.

  • Richard Natoli-Rombach says:

    Anything that will encourage people not to buy any type of animal skin will save animals. I have a few coats that are faux leather. I get compliments on them which gives me the opportunity to tell people that they are not real leather and there are very good alternatives to leather. The fact that I get the compliments opens a window of opportunity to educate people on non animal skin/fur alternatives and they can make choices.

  • Karen W says:

    I love faux fur. I made veganism a big theme for all my major college presentations this year so when I wear it everyone knows its faux, and I usually get a few people comment on how nice it looks, so I think I’m doing a good thing ^_^

  • Cecilia says:

    Any fur I avoid, aside it looks old fashion, it is hard to tell if it is truly faux. China is tending to use cat or dog fur as fake, wether as a filling of a garment or a trim. Prefer to wear nothing but cotton, nylon, rayon, or polyester. In today’s market these fabrics result great and cheap. You can find them in purses, garments or shoes. Why spend so much when you know you will buy more. Don’t buy animal products.

  • Lorraine Redfern says:

    It’s true that real fur and faux fur are very similar and even in my younger days I hated the feeling of real fur, knowing were it came from. I say that faux fur is the way to go and why not? If faux fur is like real fur, than there is no need for real fur and should never have been real fur. Many animals have died a cruel death and I mean “cruel” I often wonder what would it be like for these animals to have their fur stripped of their body and still be alive. The chinese like in all things they do will utilise as much of any animal that will bring them prosperity. I think it is time to put an end to this cruel trade and swap the real for the faux fur.

  • Rachel says:

    I definitely don’t buy “faux” fur because I don’t have proof that it is fake – there is no one regulating the labelling, so items that are being called “faux” may in fact have real fur.

  • stephanie says:

    I agree that I don’t like fur that looks too real, and when I wear faux fur I wear a ‘no fur’ pin (see link below). However, I find it odd that so many animal rights people rail against faux fur yet wear faux leather. What’s the difference? Faux is faux is faux. And quality alternatives are great for animals.

  • Leslie says:

    The faux looks so real I choose not to wear it because of that reason. Love the look and feel on the animal but no longer on people. Unless you are living in the wild and use the whole animal, I say no to faux as well as real : ()

  • Vinny says:

    I agree with Kim. Also, that faux-fur vest looks real. What if somebody came up to me and asked why I was wearing fur? What would I say? ‘No, it’s fake fur, but I like the look of dead animal skin, without animals actually dying, so I bought fake.’ That’s crazy. Would you wear a ‘faux-human-skin’ jacket? See my point? It isn’t real, but it is still creepy.

  • Cheryl says:

    I agree 100% with the author – if “fashionistas” like the “wild look,” by all means buy and wear faux fur! It’s cruelty-free and more affordable than real fur, and this will hopefully encourage manufacturers to stop using fur altogether.

    But I also like the idea of wearing a PETA pin in case there is any doubt about the origins.

  • christine says:

    i like faux fur. i have never thought that its suppose to just be fake fur, as much as just a love for the way animals look. same goes for animal prints. i would never wear anything that came from a animal, but i love to show how much i love animals with animal looks.

  • KLS79 says:

    Thanks for this article! I’ve wrestled with this issue as well. But when I found a winter jacket that had both faux fur AND faux wool, I couldn’t pass it up. Wearing a pin to drive the point home that you disagree with REAL fur is definitely the way to go.

  • Irene leslie says:

    There are questions as to whether faux fur is genuine, fur and skin belong on the original owners. If more people are buying faux fur why are animals etc still suffering, Unless I have proof I stay away from faux fur/skin. I think faux fur confuses the issue and people still think fur is ok.

  • Kim says:

    My stance? I’m going to have to go with not. Even though PETA does have a pin to say I’m wearing something cruelty free, what if somebody just passes me on the street and goes ‘Oh. That looks cool’, doesn’t see the pin, and goes and buys a version that isn’t cruelty free. I’d feel like it was my fault. The pin works if you’re just hanging out with people or at a party to spark conversation, but in passing, the pin is rendered useless.

  • Jonathan Livesley says:

    I don’t like fake/imitation fur because it is promoting the ‘look’ of fur and therefore has to be supporting the fur trade. And how do we animal lovers know who to be mad at when most ‘fur’ clothing is false? I don’t see the point in imitating wearing a dead animal any more than actually doing it. If you choose to buy a fake fur because the fur trade is cruel, you are still trying to look like you have a dead animal on. Crazy.

  • kel says:

    i think faux fur. it look nice but it just make people like the look or Fur and make more people make the stuff with the real thing.

  • HayleyCamire says:

    I completely agree with your view. I am a vegan as well and I spend a lot of time showing my family and frieds the animal-free options that are available. Many people are not aware of their options so they tend to go for what is easier and momre quickly obtained. This is why people go for a quick burger or hot pocket instead of researching and findin a substitute. I don’t think the wrong message is implied. I think faux fur is doing exactly what it should. We don’t have to be cruel to look awesome.

  • Kathleen says:

    If people want to wear faux fur, thats up to them, NO CRUELTY involved. BUT- I do not, the reason being, I don’t find it attractive, the MAIN reason is that I don’t want anyone to think it’s real. I would never wear fur, never have never will. same with any animal clothing products, why wear an animal if you don’t eat them, and if you wouldn’t eat them, why wear them?