суббота, 15 января 2011 г.

Fashion without mercy

First of all, I hope no one will be offended by what I'm going to say or by the title of this post. It's only my opinion, I'm not asking everyone to share it and I'm not judging (I'm gonna say this a lot in this post, so sorry in advance))))

I'm a vegetarian. I've been a vegetarian for more than 5.5 years. It was my decision and I'm very happy with it - it was a right choise for me. I'm not saying that I'm gonna be vegetarian for the rest of my life. I'm pretty realistic about it - I don't know what's gonna happend with me in two days or two years. But as the time goes by, I feel that being lacto vegetarian (I eat dairy products, cheese, eggs, seafood and even fish sometimes) is good for me - I'm feeling healthy and I have absolutely no desire to eat a steak.
I've stopped eating meat and chicken mostly because I've always been an animal lover and I think that if I can survive and be healthy without it I have no reason to be invovlved in this chain. Though I totally understand people who eat meat - I've been there and I always thought that meat is the only product I will never be able to stop eating. It's a choise and it really depends on ones blood type too, no one should do anything that'd make him/her feel uncomfortable or damage his/her health.
But as for me - I've stopped eating meat in summer of 2005. I've almost stopped buying leather also. Once again, it's a choise. I personally don't think that a cow should die violently because I want a leather handbag or vallet. But I don't judge (who am I to judge, honestly - I have a lot of my own baggage and I'm very far from being perfect) - everyone makes their own decision, and I don't get involed, unless some person, who knows about my beliefs, is constantly (more than 2-3 times) trying to get my opinion on her new leather vallet in a very rude manner. Well, like showing it in my face and reapeating: "Just touch it, it's so smoooth, because it's from baby animal". Guilty as charged, at situation like this I've lost my temper a few times. Well, once again - I'm not perfect. I've read a lot and watched many documentaries on this subject and I can say without a doubt - the leather and fur-making business is very violent and cruel towards animals.
On not being perfect note - I do buy leather shoes sometimes. Because sometimes it's a nessesity - other matherials aren't always comfortable when it's really cold or really hot.
I'm not an idealist - I know that if I'll ever starve, or if I'll get sick, I would eat meat. And if my feet are freezing or not getting enough air, I'll buy leather shoes. But I wouldn't buy a leather bag, or jacket or a vallet - it's not a nessesity, I can live without it, so I don't think that it's worth the life of a leaving creature.
I do, however, approve of wearing gifts (I wear all the stuff I got for birthdays or New Years - it's gifts, what can I do? Not everyone knows me that well) and buing vintage or second hand fur and leather - these animals are already dead, what's done is done. I have my mom's vintage coat from 70-s - it has collar made of mink's fur. And I'm gonna wear it, I guess. I also have two leather jackets and a leather passport cover from Neri Karra (both gifts), and I wear/use them. I just don't want to create a demand on killing other animals.
But once again, that's me. Everyone has his own beliefs.
What's sad - looking through lot's of fashion collections and lookbooks tends to make me really sad. I love fashion, I love beautiful clothes and accessories, but I'm starting to feel that in order to look good I should forget about everything I've just wrote. I'm looking at new acessories collections and catwalk shows and mentally creating a list of things I wouldn't even concider having - shoes, handbags, jackets... I know that situation improved a lot in the last couple of years, but it still is very far from being perfect.
That's why I adore Stella McCartney and her vegan collections.






pictures are found via Google image search

I would really loved it if fashion had some mercy and compassion after all - if more designers shown mercy and started making their bags in both genuine and faux leather to give us a choise, then lot's of us could have the stuff we like and still show mercy. Because I honestly don't think that I will ever buy a leather purse unless I see it in a vintage store.

10 комментариев:

  1. I like the fact that you've taken a balanced approach to a contentious topic here, and that you're not opposed to wearing vintage/secondhand leather and fur. A very cynical friend said to me once that handbags and shoes labeled "vegan" were just saying "plastic" or "PVC" in a fancy way. The chemicals and fuel used to produce these vegan products can harm the environment and cause harm to animals that way. Plus, usually synthetic leathers don't last as long as the real thing and end up in landfills, thereby further harming the earth. So which option is less harmful to animals? Again, it's a REALLY tough question to answer.

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  2. Sometimes it just seems like there is no right answer. I try to reconcile this issue by buying vintage or second hand as much as possible. Buying a thrifted leather purse won't cause any more animals to be killed, and also, the animal it is made of has been long dead, so we might as well use the product so that he/she didn't die for nothing. This also means that you are not sending money off to companies that produce synthetic products using non-renewable resources, and quite often sweat-shops. I know that shopping thrift means that you might miss out on the latest and greatest trends, but at least you are not supporting unfair situations for both animals and people. Don't get me wrong, I do buy new products as well, I just try to make the bulk of my purchases second hand. It saves me money too :)

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  3. Fortunately, there do seem to be a lot of cute fabric and synthetic shoes and bags these days, and faux fur is a popular and cute fashion choice.

    Personally, though, I prefer the fact that leather shoes and bags last for a long time, and be reconditioned with oils and waxes to last even longer. Some items even look nicer as they age. Leather shoes are more breathable and conform better to the foot, too. So, although I know there are cruelty-free options, I prefer the real thing. Less consumption, longer enjoyment.

    I agree on making use of vintage and antique leather and fur items. They can be wonderful, and it would be wasteful not to do them honor by using them and enjoying them.

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  4. HI! Great, informative post!

    Everything is a balancing act. Maybe the creation of synthetic fabrics has its toll on the environment- not the perfect alternative either!

    I like leather products too for the same reasons as Cloud of Secrets! It looks nicer than cheaper plastic shoes/bags, and lasts you a long time. Looking even better with age.

    It's about being aware of the world, making use of vintage products & not overly consuming products because they are the latest thing.

    xx.
    Judy

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  5. HI! Great, informative post!

    Everything is a balancing act. Maybe the creation of synthetic fabrics has its toll on the environment- not the perfect alternative either!

    I like leather products too for the same reasons as Cloud of Secrets! It looks nicer than cheaper plastic shoes/bags, and lasts you a long time. Looking even better with age.

    It's about being aware of the world, making use of vintage products & not overly consuming products because they are the latest thing.

    xx.
    Judy

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  6. I just wrote a very long comment, which subsequently deleted itself!
    I am happy buying leather, and will wear vintage fur (as the animal has been dead for a long time, and otherwise it might end up in landfill.) However, I don't condone the purchasing of new fur. For me, my ethical shopping comes in the form of refusing to buy clothes in high street stores such as Primark - I don't want to support a company that doesn't treat humans with respect.
    However, Stella McCartney is commendable for her experimentation with vegan fashion.

    http://clothescamerasandcoffee.blogspot.com/

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  7. There are actually many brands that make sturdy pleather bags at this point (Matt & Nat, Melie Bianco, etc.) and there are tons of brands that make comfortable sturdy vegan shoes (Hearts of Darkness/Cri de Coeur, Olsen Haus, Neuara, Novacas, etc.). They're out there if you look for them and some of them are actually made in way that are more environmentally conscious than leather.

    (I wrote about the toxicity of leather industry here: http://jesseanneo.blogspot.com/2010/10/dressing-vegan_18.html)

    Just depends on the brand you buy.

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  8. Hi Marina! We really think alike on this subject.
    Regarding eating meat, I've been vegetarian for many years, then I started eat meat again for a year because I was sick, then stopped again, and now I have to eat it because of my job. I think the same as you: if I'm starving, I'll eat what is in my plate.
    I barely never eat meat at home, because I do my own food shopping, but when there's catering at work, I eat whatever is there, because I have to survive the whole day.
    Talking about clothing: I don't buy new leather shoes, leather wallets, leather jackets, leather anything. Nor I do buy fur of any kind, I almost never buy fake neither, I'm starting to dislike the furry look, even if it's fake, it looks to me like I'm sending the wrong message about myself and my opinions.
    However, if I find a used leather shoe, I'll probably buy it. But this happens very rarely, and never happens with fur: it's just to much for me, even if it's used, and it has been dead for many years, and I'm not giving any money to the producer of that thing.
    However, I think that the problem here is that no one is really looking for a solution to this problem: if quality stuff keeps being produced in leather or animal parts people will always think that a shoe, to be of quality, must be true leather. That's not true, I own shoes of faux leather that have been lasting for years now! Of course I also own fake leather shoes which parted in a year or less, but it all depends on the quality of them. You can read my opinion about this here, I also listed some sites where it's possible buying quality mandmade stuff.
    I also own a pair of leather boots by Cult which I've been owning for something like 8 years now, which are still perfectly new and that I'm not going to throw it away only because now I shop with conscience and cruelty free. I bought them when I didn't realize the problem, and I'm keeping them, there's no point in not wearing things you already own.
    By the way, people would never give me leather or fur stuff as a present, I state my opinion very well and very often, you should, too! I'd become very angry if someone gave me this kind of stuff for my birthday!
    Thank you for writing about this topic, I'm always delighted to see that in the blogosphere there's someone interested in making less harm possible (other than all the eco green hippie sites!!)
    I hope to hear from you soon!
    Vivian

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