Fur as fashion in America | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 1, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 2050-0726
  • E-ISSN: 2050-0734



Animal skins and furs are some of the earliest clothing items worn by humankind and the practicality of their toughness and warmth is one of the reasons why they are still worn today. Beyond its practical use, fur acquired the added appeal of decoration and luxury throughout fashion history, and its wearers, criticism via accusations of ostentation. With the rise in the late nineteenth century of a middle class with economic means, greater demand for luxury fashions such as fur ensued. To meet market and fashion trend demands, overharvesting of fur species led to rapid declines in animal populations. This in turn resulted in industry regulations protecting endangered species and domestic farming of fur animals. Aggressive activities of animal rights organizations in the late twentieth century resulted in devastating consequences for indigenous economies dependant on fur hunting. These peoples in turn organized to counter misinformation and promote fur as the ultimate natural fibre contrasted to fake furs that are petroleum by-products with their own harmful environmental harvesting issues.


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