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Is it okay to wear fur if it’s vintage? Add to ...

The question

I love the look and feel of fur, but I can’t quite get over feeling that wearing it is wrong. Do you think vintage fur is a legitimate alternative?

The answer

On occasion, a fashion question crosses into ethics. This is a good thing; it means that we are thinking about what we wear. In cases such as this, however, the answer is rarely simple.

You could convince yourself that opting for vintage fur is morally superior to buying it new – that the animal’s pelt was made into a coat long before your purchase and thus you are not supporting today’s industry, simply prolonging the life of a garment. But consider that in the era when your vintage piece was produced, regulations on farming and hunting may not have been as well enforced as they are today.

There are endless other arguments on both sides of the debate offered by fur’s detractors and proponents, who are equally passionate. So this remains a deeply personal choice.

If transparency about the pelts’ origins would make you feel less conflicted, consider browsing the Fur Council of Canada’s site at www.furcouncil.com.

Ultimately, wearing fur should not make you uncomfortable – and donning a garment that has aged for a decade or three is not going to make the difference. Really, fur is fur.

Amy Verner is The Globe and Mail's Paris-based style reporter. Have a fashion question? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

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