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I don’t really have a problem with leather or fur. If we kill animals to eat them I can’t see how wearing their skin is any more (or less) barbaric but I can see the argument against it from an ecological perspective and also from an ethical viewpoint. I applaud those who do not believe in wearing fur or leather and stick to their convictions but it won’t stop me enjoying a steak or comfy leather uppers.

An article that came to my attention recently made the point that faux fur or vegan alternatives are really not ok from an ecological point of view either. The article made me question the long-term viability of the alternatives and reconsider my leather buying habits.

I love the feel of leather, I love its durability, I love how it looks and to some extent I buy into the “exclusiveness” that comes with being able to afford it, I like how it feels to know I own genuine leather items.

But when I get right down to it, I don’t think I would miss it. If all leather was to disappear tomorrow I could get by and would probably cease to notice altogether in time.

As for the alternatives, from a fashion perspective, gone are the days when choosing faux fur or leather meant you had to settle for something that lacked quality or true style, faux is as fashionable as the real deal.

If the production of vegan alternatives to fur and leather negatively impacts on our environment does the issue become which is the least bad or is that a moot point? Does this mean I can only buy and wear second-hand leather, is that the only truly ethical decision?

I don’t have any real answers but as many stores are full of both real and faux fur and leather for weeks now in preparation for cooler weather I am left wondering what the best decision is and thinking about where I stand on the issue.

How about you, do you prefer faux fur or the real thing? What motivates your choice and would you throw paint to make your point?

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