Skip to navigationSkip to content

There’s a strong ethical case for wearing leather and fur

By Quartz

Being “good” isn’t as easy as it might first seem. In theory, it’s as simple as minimizing the harm you cause. This is the lineRead full story

Comments

  • Also share to
  • I cannot WAIT to read this book and might add it to our company’s book club list. We’re on a path to 100% sustainability by 2020, but there is so much complexity to the ethics of fashion that we all need to better understand. This article was hugely eye-opening for me and I love the idea of “good-ish

    I cannot WAIT to read this book and might add it to our company’s book club list. We’re on a path to 100% sustainability by 2020, but there is so much complexity to the ethics of fashion that we all need to better understand. This article was hugely eye-opening for me and I love the idea of “good-ish” as I practice the 80-20 rule in so many aspects of my life. Definitely adding this to my pre-order list!!

  • It's time to rethink leather, feathers, wool, fur, silk, and pearls. The current conventional wisdom is that these natural materials are cruel and unnecessarily use animals. Instead, many advocate for synthetic replacements. But "Putting on the Dog," an upcoming book, makes a very convincing case against

    It's time to rethink leather, feathers, wool, fur, silk, and pearls. The current conventional wisdom is that these natural materials are cruel and unnecessarily use animals. Instead, many advocate for synthetic replacements. But "Putting on the Dog," an upcoming book, makes a very convincing case against synthetics, which are environmentally destructive, and for a better relationship with the natural world through a deeper understanding of our clothing.

  • If nothing else, at least it shows that the animal rights movement is getting through to an increasing number of people when cruelty apologists feel it necessary to start writing essays like this one.

  • A wonderfully thoughtful article. Being mindful of our choices is what we should strive for. Knowing there are no pure choices is terrifically humbling.

  • Wow! By the title - I really didn’t think I’d want to read this article or read the book or find anything I’d want to believe in either... I was wrong!

    I can’t wait to read this book and learn and reevaluate the choices I make in my own life.

    We all need to be aware of the broader implications of the

    Wow! By the title - I really didn’t think I’d want to read this article or read the book or find anything I’d want to believe in either... I was wrong!

    I can’t wait to read this book and learn and reevaluate the choices I make in my own life.

    We all need to be aware of the broader implications of the choices we make - especially when we are trying very hard to do good and leave the world better than we found it. This really resonated —

    “In a reciprocal relationship, you take only what you need, rather than as much as possible. Reciprocity emerges as the theme of Kwasmy’s book. “The natural world is responsive to human care for it and … we are dependent on its health for our own survival,” Kwasmy writes. “Reciprocity begins with awareness. It is guided by respect and restraint. It always involves an expression of gratefulness.”

  • Eye opening piece that shows how complicated some seemingly clear cut issues are. One take away that we can all do: less of everything. We have become used to buying buying buying. We need to have it be ok to simply have less stuff.

  • Our economy is ever growing but that does not mean we are compelled to keep buying. I think we’ve lost our moral compass when it comes to consumption.

    What if we all chose to buy less and make more deliberate purchases? That’s my version of a rising tide lifting all ships.

    Holding our selves to higher

    Our economy is ever growing but that does not mean we are compelled to keep buying. I think we’ve lost our moral compass when it comes to consumption.

    What if we all chose to buy less and make more deliberate purchases? That’s my version of a rising tide lifting all ships.

    Holding our selves to higher principles would a lot towards improved quality of life and sustainability. But to do that en masse would require a culture shift I cannot imagine taking place.

  • The problem here is plastic clothes are hard to dissolve , then what about the ecosystem

  • Fur is a renewable resource. Synthetics are not.

  • The answer is: just stop buying stuff?

  • What an amazing take on such a controversial and complex issue. So often we just “read the headlines” but don’t dig deeper. And even when we decide to dig deep we may not report the correct answer if it conflicts with our own beliefs. Bravo.

  • Fantastic article! Most consumers (myself included) only know the superficial effects brands and marketers choose to show us. Organisations like PETA have their own agendas, brands have their own, such documentations are great for education, as a neutral party laying out the facts.

    We, the consumers

    Fantastic article! Most consumers (myself included) only know the superficial effects brands and marketers choose to show us. Organisations like PETA have their own agendas, brands have their own, such documentations are great for education, as a neutral party laying out the facts.

    We, the consumers, need to learn to consume mindfully and intelligently.

  • This is like that episode of the Good Place where they learn all ethical behavior has unintended consequences. May as well eat a burger.

  • The title of this article is misleading. There is a strong ethical case against using synthetic materials, but that doesn’t equal a strong ethical case for fur and leather. Those aren’t the only options. There are natural materials besides leather and fur. Even if there were only two options, both could

    The title of this article is misleading. There is a strong ethical case against using synthetic materials, but that doesn’t equal a strong ethical case for fur and leather. Those aren’t the only options. There are natural materials besides leather and fur. Even if there were only two options, both could be morally problematic in which case you would choose the lesser of two evils, but that does not amount to a strong case for one option.

  • I wonder if those who are anti plastic straw are also anti plastic clothing?

    Seems like every time we consume something, we’re harming the planet. Just gotta pick your flavor

  • Interesting perspective on the case for non-synthetics. On a separate note, I always wondered if rich vegans drove luxury cars - as most have quite a bit of leather.

  • Every choice has a consequence, and every thing we take from the environment has an impact. Unfortunately, a lot or people don't fully understand the consequences or impacts.

    While a quality leather bag might last for decades with proper care, one made from vegan leather will for three or four years

    Every choice has a consequence, and every thing we take from the environment has an impact. Unfortunately, a lot or people don't fully understand the consequences or impacts.

    While a quality leather bag might last for decades with proper care, one made from vegan leather will for three or four years. When you consider the environmental of making five or more vegan leather bags vs. one leather one, you would be hard pressed to argue that vegan option is more environmentally friendly.

  • Enlightening.

  • Cotton, anyone?

  • Past Silicon Valley attorney known for her love of culture, writes this smoke screen. Dont let her, or anyone else, lead you to believe that compassionate choices are unsustainable! We can live without pestisides and over buying - her words can be reversed. Lead with the heart. ❤

  • In the world where we tend to be environment conscious, I think this article definitely raises an interesting point.

  • Very interesting argument

  • Hemp anyone ?

  • I was raised on a farm. We raised more than half our food. I was taught to give our animals a good life and a swift death. Comparing the ethics of synthetics versus natural makes me think the old ways aren't so bad.

  • Long, but thought provoking...

Want more conversations like this?

Join the Quartz community for all the intelligence, without the noise.

App Store BadgeGoogle Play Badge
Leaderboard Screenshot

A community of leaders, subject matter experts, and curious minds bringing nuance back to how we talk about the news.

Editors' Picks Screenshot

No content overload: our editors will curate the most notable and discussion-worthy pieces for you every day.

Share Screenshot

Don’t just read the story, tell it: contribute your ideas and experience to the dialogue.