IM, Impostor

Fashion
You didn’t think I’d let New York Fashion Week go by without a blog post, did you? One of the hot topics this year has been fur-free fashion; designers Chanel and Nina Ricci, among others, had runway models strutting their “faux” stuff. In addition to the fashion models, celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker and a certain Kardashian sister have been showing off some high-quality faux fur, too.  Although I don’t have any faux fur in my own wardrobe, I offer you this cruelty-free fashion alternative: Impostor, the creator of ultra-chic, animal-friendly designs. What I especially like about Imposter is that each product has the IM Impostor logo on it, which makes it easily identifiable as faux. Also, partnering with Farm Sanctuary, Impostor has committed to giving a “royalty share” to animals from each Imposter-branded product.

The Law
It’s a lot easier to wear faux fur these days, thanks to a wonderful piece of federal legislation that was passed in 2010. The Truth in Fur Labeling Act ensures that when you buy something made with faux fur, you’re getting what you think you’re getting. Prior to the Act, any items with a price tag under $150 did not require labeling at all. What’s worse, things labeled as “faux fur” – such as the trim on a winter jacket – often consisted of real fur, from animals such as raccoon dogs who, despite a resemblance to raccoons, actually are members of the dog family. And before 2000, an investigation by the Humane Society of the United States revealed that more than two million dogs and cats each year were being killed in China and other parts of Asia for the fur trade: domestic dog and cat fur was finding its way into the United States on unlabeled clothes items.

Advocacy
Wanting to learn more about initiatives to promote fur-free designs and the use of faux fur? Check out the Fur-Free Campaign by the HSUS. In addition to its investigations and efforts towards protective legislation, the HSUS works with designers and students to promote fashion-forward, fur-free thinking. With the fur industry killing more than fifty million animals each year, we need to eliminate this market by spending our consumer dollars elsewhere. Lucky for us, many of the fashion world’s top designers and rising stars agree.

Finally, a word about seal fur. By now, I think everyone has heard about the annual commercial seal hunt in Canada. Horrific. It was during a 1987  trip to the then-U.S.S.R.  that I first learned about seal fur’s status in the fashion world. Last summer, I had a conversation about that trip with photographer Nigel Barker at the Taking Action for Animals conference; Mr. Barker is responsible for a riveting documentary on the Canadian seal hunt and has been very active in efforts to end the slaughter. I’m so thankful for the increasing awareness and public response to this problem, and that countries throughout the world have banned seal products.

To end this post on a lighter note, a little glimpse into my personal universe: my four year-old nephew Nicholas and I have matching “Save the Seals” tee shirts!