Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bearskins vs Stella McCartney

 I do admire Stella McCartney for sticking to her guns and being in the position to make some real impact.  However,  I don't admire the pushing of petroleum products that have a half-life of 50,000 plus years in a landfill.  I don't like the idea of bears (or any animal) being killed only for their fur,  but that is not the case here as the bears are culled for population control in Canada, which has a highly regulated fur industry.  

 photo of real Bearskin hats from Telegraph UK 2008 announcing contest for alternative bearskin
I expect these  bearskin (hats) when well taken care of,  last at least 10-15 years  and probably a great deal longer.  I would not be at all surprised if one guard has one hat, that lasts the entire lifetime of his career and is then handed down as a treasured family keepsake.  I don't imaging they are needing to make a gazillion of them either.

I have found PETA and it's like to be highly hypocritical over the years.  From the disrespectful open pit burials it promoted  & "gave" for old fur coats that could have been used to keep living people and  animals warm.  Yes, they did eventually figure that one out (first by adding coffins- took longer for the rest) but I think more as a result of bad press than reality.  They don't ever seem to take into account the damage of synthetic petrol based good that are inundating the world's landfills.  I know there are all sorts of hi-tech finishes that can make polyester microfibers "absorbent" but those are  chemical additions and "finishes".   (Think  surface,  faux,  temporary, and mostly,  chemical.)  Add to that the sheer volume of synthetics on the market, as well as  how long it actually lasts in real usage,  a month?  6 months?  A year?  On top of this we have such well informed fashion sites like Refinery 29 and Fashionista with their writers who have touted such a creature as "Organic Nylon".  ARRRGGH! 

For sure,  leather is not a blameless material, (almost nothing is any more)  from GM cotton on up.  But, from my perspective it's the waste involved in so much of manufacturing that is an even bigger issue.  Making thousands of units - that critical mass you need to keep the wheels greased today & make the shelves look full.  OMGod forbid, if Macy's and their ilk do not have their racks at 180% full of synth crap at all times,  you'd think we'd all drop dead! (... that is, if the polyester fumes on the 2nd floor on 34th street weren't enough to knock you down first!)

This is (very wrongly, I think) called the "economy of scale".  Anyone who has taken a serious old school business course knows that this economy of scale eventually collapses under its own weight.  It costs more and more to continue growing it & the arc flattens out.  Now we know that arc is not just a profit arc and  it is costing us all a whole lot more than just money.

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