Fur clothing made from animals like raccoons, foxes and chinchillas is not something that is usually associated with sustainability.
But a fur-loving couple claims that the right things are actually more moral and sustainable than being vegan.
Judi Caldwell, 41, and partner Lukasz Dlubek, 36, from Northern Ireland, share an equal passion and love for all things real fur, and say their collection makes them feel stylish and elegant.
This includes interesting clothing made by all kinds of animals, including mink, raccoons, foxes, moleskins and even a chinchilla.
But with this controversy comes a lot of hatred from vegans online – who often send the couple death threats and question the morale and sustainability of real fur clothing.
Judi said: ‘Today there is a lot of “green washing” and a lot of emphasis on veganism and vegetarianism.
‘We try to promote sustainable fashion by wearing fur, but people are quick to jump online and judge us.
The hatred we receive from a lot of vegans online is appalling and I have even received messages from someone who threatened to cut the throat of my and my dog because we have fur on.
‘I wear this to honor my grandmother, who was a bit of a fashionista – she was the type of lady who wore stilettos that matched her jacket and fur jacket upstairs – I always thought she looked so elegant.
“These vegans like to attack us, but do not think about where their soy comes from or what sacrifices would have to be made to get it.
‘The clothes we wear are more sustainable and we are more respectable than these people because our message is never about hatred. It’s about spreading positivity and networking through fashion. ‘
Lukasz added: ‘There’s an idea out there that it’s unusual for a man to wear fur, but I like it.
‘Some people think we’re trying to prove we’re of a higher class or show that we have money, but that’s not true at all – we’re just ordinary people.
‘The public debate on the subject is very biased and the general argument against us is that fur is immoral but we remain and like to see both sides.
‘Fur use can be and is ethical to a greater degree. There is a lot of scientific evidence for this.
‘The alternative is the argument about fake fur, which doesn’t even look like much.
‘They’re sending this from Bangladesh and China, pretending it’s the ethical choice, while we buy ours locally and support smaller businesses.
‘Real fur lasts so much longer when cared for properly, whereas fake fur is fast fashion – what do they think happens to all the plastic that is used to make it.’
Judi said: ‘Some people have the idea that those who wear fur are mentally injured, are evil.
“Others try to do it about sex or even prostitution, but here I’m carrying my self to the mall because I think I look elegant and classy – I’m trying to break that bond because other people’s views do not represent the reason, that I hate it.
‘Personally, I have never received any hatred – it’s just faceless people online and so-called activists attacking us.
‘I only receive positive comments when I’m out – people ask to touch it and say I look great.
‘I will never understand why people are so terrible.
‘What’s missing in society is that adults can not accept that one can have a difference of opinion and still be respectable – that’s scary.’
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