5 Great Ways to Recycle Old Fur Clothing

Alice in Furs By Alice in Furs

recycle old fur, recycle fur, old fur coat, remodelling

Have you ever wondered how to recycle old fur? Remodelling is a great way to breathe new life into an old fur coat or jacket. Whether it is an old mink coat in pristine condition, or a vintage piece that has seen better days, most furs can be recycled in some way. Just see these before-and-after photos (above) of a coat remodelled by Natural Furs of Montreal.

Here are five things you can do with an old fur coat or jacket.

Recut into a New Shape

This could be something simple like shortening the coat to make it more modern, changing the sleeve shape or just taking off the sleeves to make a vest. Alternatively, you could attempt something a bit more dramatic, like recutting the piece entirely. Fur is unique in that a good coat can be completely transformed into something new using the “letting out” sewing technique that is exclusive to fur. Expect to pay $500 and up for a job like this, and make sure you choose a furrier who is experienced in remodelling and knows how to recycle old fur.

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Why Animal Rights Activists Are Becoming More Aggressive

Alan Herscovici, Senior Researcher, Truth About Fur By Alan Herscovici, Senior Researcher, Truth About Fur

animal rights activists

For animal-rights activists, arson was a way to save lynx from a new ski resort, Vail, Colorado, 1998.

I received a phone call the other day from a very frightened fur retailer. Two young women had come into his store while he was serving a customer and begun lecturing him about the evils of selling fur. He had tried to stay cool and asked them to leave, several times, but they kept at him until, finally, he lost it and said things he wasn’t proud of. They had filmed him too; now his outburst was on an activist website and his Facebook page had been bombarded with comments accusing him of being a sexist thug.

“Am I finished?” he asked, shaken. “That’s not me, but they were so aggressive; honestly, I was frightened.” I told him to remove the threatening posts from his Facebook page – but to take screen-grabs first, for the record. I also advised him to make a police report about the women who had harassed him, and to ask the police to keep an eye on his store at night. (The windows of several fur stores in the same town were broken in the weeks that followed.)

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. An outerwear store that sells fur-trimmed parkas in Vancouver has endured rowdy protests several times a week for more than a year. Activists now often follow fur-wearers down the street, haranguing them. DxE (“Direct Action Everywhere”) activists invade department stores, intimidating consumers and thumbing their noses at store security. At the opening of new Canada Goose stores in New York and Toronto, protesters carried “F*ck Canada Goose” posters. (So much for compassion and intelligent dialogue!) “Fur police” recently patrolled the streets of Hamburg, Germany, lecturing fur-wearers and giving them “tickets”.

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Time to Send a Message to Canadian Tire!

Truth About Fur By Truth About Fur

canadian tire, fur, peta

Many were shocked this week when PETA announced that Canadian Tire and its affiliates would no longer sell fur products “after being shown how animals were mistreated”.

Those who contact Canadian Tire for an explanation are receiving the following carefully-worded statement:

Over a year ago two of our banners, Sport Chek and Atmosphere, made a decision that reflects the preferences of their customers. We continuously evaluate the types of products we carry in our stores and from time to time we make shifts in our assortment. We are aware of communications that indicated this decision reflects all of our banners but this is not the case.

Of course, by removing fur from their stores, Canadian Tire is not respecting “the preferences of their customers”, but denying them the right to choose for themselves.

Many people are shocked and disappointed that Canadian Tire would let animal extremists dictate their merchandising policies. Canadian Tire is one of Canada’s most important retailers of hunting, trapping and fishing equipment – a $4 BILLION business in this country. Don’t they understand that these same activists also oppose hunting and fishing? Don’t they know that the activist websites are already asking when Atmosphere and Sport Chek will also get rid of their down-filled apparel and leather products?

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Santa Wears Fur “from His Head to His Foot”

Truth About Fur By Truth About Fur

santa wears fur, santa, fur, f.o.c. darley

In this 1862 print of A visit from St. Nicholas, illustrator F.O.C. Darley stayed true to Santa’s appearance.

A Visit from St. Nicholas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
Full poem

Everyone believes in Santa, but few count themselves lucky enough to have seen him. For those blessed few of you, did you notice something odd? His red cloth jacket and pants, and black leather boots, were nowhere to be seen. He was dressed, from head to toe, in nothing but fur!

Something most Santa fans don’t know is that his true appearance, and character, were not discovered until the early 19th century, with New York the centre of enlightenment.

Historically, Saint Nicholas was depicted as a stern holy man, and this tradition was exported to New York by Dutch colonialists. But a group of writers and scholars, led by Washington Irving in his 1809 book A History of New-York, began to question Santa’s dour image. What they discovered would rock the world, and especially the Dutch. Christmas would never be the same again!

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November Fur News: Trapping Victory in Montana

Truth About Fur By Truth About Fur

Let’s start our November news roundup by celebrating the trapping victory in Montana. Bill i-177, which would have prohibited the use of animal traps on public lands, was voted down. Well done Montanans!

lynx, trapping, maine, trapper, fur trade, trapping victory in Montana

In other trapping news, raccoons are part of a legal battle in New Jersey, with animal rights activists fighting against the use of enclosed foothold traps. Did we mention these raccoons are rabid? Let’s hope it doesn’t take a major outbreak of rabies to make this court case go away. Speaking of legal battles, there is one under way in Maine over incidental lynx trapping (see above), whereas in Canada there has been a proposed private members bill to designate May 20 as National Seal Products Day. We love this idea and give it our seal of approval.

As we are full on into trapping season, it’s worth sharing a few good reads from last month. Here’s an interesting piece on the impact of the trade of Amazonian furs in the mid-20th century. Gregory Thompson did a great job giving us tips and advice on maintaining good relationships with the landowners of the land you trap on. And this piece about the use of coyote furs on Canada Goose parkas is also a great read. Lastly, we were thrilled to hear that Neal Jotham got a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Museum of Nature for his central role in the creation and adoption of international standards on humane animal traps used in the fur industry. We also featured him in our blog earlier this year.

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Standing Up to Animal-Rights Bullies – Case Study #1

Alan Herscovici, Senior Researcher, Truth About Fur By Alan Herscovici, Senior Researcher, Truth About Fur

animal-rights bullies, Ingrid Newkirk, PETA

Ingrid Newkirk, queen of the animal-rights bullies.

Unfortunately, this could happen to anyone working with fur these days, especially retailers selling any sort of fur or fur-trimmed products.

A veteran North American retail furrier – who shall remain nameless here, to protect the innocent – has participated for the past ten years in a high-profile fund-raising fashion show, in support of a local charity. About a month before this year’s show, he spoke with the organizers who confirmed that they were looking forward to working with him again. Then the animal-rights bullies showed up.

Just two weeks before the event, he received a call from the fashion-show producer. She informed him that the Events Committee had decided they could not include his products in the show this year. “One of the sponsors is against fur,” she said, as if this explained everything. The committee had made their decision and nothing could be done, she told him bluntly.

And that might have been the end of the story, except this retailer is not the sort who likes to be told that “nothing can be done” … especially when it involves mindless kowtowing to anti-fur bigots. Sensing that the show producer was not open to discussion, he went above her head and contacted the charity’s Events Coordinator. What he did next should be an inspiration to all furriers – and, indeed, to everyone who believes in democracy.

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5 Reasons Why We Must Wear Leather and Fur

Truth About Fur By Truth About Fur

The world is changing and, with it, our approach to consumption. As the impact of global warming worsens, many consumers are rethinking what they buy, and how much of it. “Local”, “organic” and “minimalism” are all buzzwords many of us are drawn to, and some people question the need to eat animals, or wear leather and fur. Where does that leave us with animal use?

fur design, fur coat, fur designer, sewing, fox, wear leather

The use of animals is an ethical dilemma that many people question, but most people agree that if animals are well-treated, they are not in danger of becoming extinct, none of the animal is wasted, and the animal is put to good use, then it is acceptable for us to use and consume them.


Animal use is an integral part of many people’s lives, and is linked to essential products in our everyday life, such as medication, food, and clothing. Animals are used in medical testing in order to find cures to life-threatening diseases. We eat animals and while some people question the need to do this, there is plenty of evidence it can be done without harm to our planet. In fact, lots of land is better suited for pasture than for cultivation. And remember that animal manure is used to replenish the soil to grow crops. But if we are concerned about possible impacts, a small reduction in the amount of meat we consume – and waste – can go a long way. And lastly, we wear many types of animal products in order to protect ourselves from the elements. Fashion may not be essential, but clothing is. The need to keep warm in cold weather is a matter of life and death.

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