There is much debate in the vegan world over whether or not it is okay to wear fake fur or pleather. Some say that it's okay because no animals were killed, while others advise us vegans to stay away from the fake stuff because it sends the message that it's okay to kill animals. I have been looking into this issue recently because I am interested in making a pair of faux leather moccasins. I am of American Indian (Cherokee/Sioux) heritage and very proud of it. Before I became a vegan, I had a pair of deerskin moccasins that I loved to wear whenever I got the chance. Now that I know about the cruelty of the fur and leather trade, I do not wear them outside the house, nor do I wear them when I have guests over. However, even though I don't like the cruelty, I do like the look. Therefore, I started looking for traditional style moccasins made out of man-made materials. I found a few pairs, but they were either butt ugly, cost an arm and a leg, or made in China. I buy American or Canadian made items whenever I can, and I absolutely refuse to buy any American Indian themed/inspired item that was not made by American Indian or Canadian First Nations people. I was very disappointed. Thankfully, my mom found a solution. She sews a lot, so when she found out that a local store was having a sale on patterns, she went down to check it out. She found a beautiful moccasin pattern and bought it for me. Now I plan to buy some Ultrasuede next time I am in a fabric store and make myself a pair of cruelty free moccasins!
I know some of you are saying to yourself "but won't that send the message to non-vegans that it's okay to wear leather and fur?" Don't worry, I thought about that. I just purchased a pin back button that says "fake fur is cool, real fur is cruel". I plan to wear it on my shirt whenever I wear the moccasins (and with the rest of my button collection on my purse even when I'm not wearing them) to let people know that I do not wear real animal skin.
The issue of whether or not fake fur is okay to wear is a complicated one. It was recently revealed that some manufactures were deliberately lying to customers (big shock). Some of them sold items that were labeled a faux fur, when in fact the fur was REAL and came from Raccoon Dogs! Thankfully, the Truth in Fur Labeling Act was passed into law and signed by President Obama in 2010. It took effect in March and closes the loophole that allowed the false advertising. To be on the safe side, I'd still advise you to do some research before you buy any faux fur/pleather item and make sure that it really is faux. For more on this, please visit
Closing The Fur Labeling Loophole
For those of you who do wear or want to wear faux fur/pleather, here are some great buttons to let everyone know it's fake!
Faux, not fur button
Fake Fur is Cool (the one I bought)
Fake, not leather button
real women fake it handmade button
Anti Fur Button handmade
So tell me, where do you stand on the faux fur issue?