Faux Fur Friday, a special celebration for lovers of fuzzy clothes and animals, is celebrated on the first Friday in December, falling on December 3 this year. And it is a celebration of all things furry and fake. So grab your coats, hats, shoes, or sweaters, and party with us!
History of Faux Fur Friday
The human fascination with wearing fur likely stemmed from a very real need to keep warm back in the days when electricity was not even an idea. As the world slowly evolved, fur (animal skins, really) was only worn by the elite, also known as rulers, nobility, and so on. Ancient Egyptian royalty and high priests wore coats made of leopard skins, and later, English kings issued laws that ensured only the noble elite were able to wear costly furs like fox and ermine. These obstacles made fur more desirable to people of all classes and turned it into a status symbol. Fur coats worn by major public figures made fur the ultimate symbol of wealth and power.
And then came fake fur. The earliest uses were suggested only for children way back in the 1800s, but it was also thought that fake fur was never going to be a substitute for the real thing. Gradually, by the 1900s, fake fur — or imitation/simulated fur — began to appear. This was initially made of the wool of unborn or newborn lambs and was mixed with synthetic fibers soon after. The craze for faux fur hit the roof around the mid-1900s, and by the 1950s, such garments were increasingly affordable and popular too. At the time, the news was full of reports of companies trying to outdo each other while creating the most realistic and luxurious fake fur. They would patent their inventions and sell faux skins under names like Cloud No. 9, Borgana, Glenara, and Dynasty. The New York Times even reported that the sales of fake fur rose to astronomical heights, going from several million dollars in 1954 to around $80,000,000 in 1957.
An anti-fur movement in the 1970s gave the fake fur industry a big boost, reaching new heights when big-name supermodels Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford were picked for a PETA ad campaign against the sale of real fur.
While the fashion industry stayed true to fur, faux fur has gained the support of labels like Vogue Paris and Gucci. Multiple brands have also picked up the faux fur trend, and they market it to customers all across the price range.
Recent years have seen multiple companies avoiding natural fur, countries banning fur production, and various designers exploring faux fur production on a grand scale.
Faux Fur Friday timeline
English kings issue proclamations reserving furs like ermine and fox for the noble elite.
A fashion expert tells the “New York Times” that "when a fur of any kind becomes fashionable, the textile trade will hunt for a substitute."
The Endangered Species Act of 1973 coincides with various anti-fur protests, giving a push to the movement.
Various animal rights organizations like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) petition against the usage of real fur.
PETA's anti-fur campaign features supermodels Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, and others posing nude with the above tagline, and brands like Calvin Klein have been anti-fur since this time.
Cher Horowitz, a character in the 1995 film "Clueless," proudly declares her clothing as 'faux'; the fashion industry picked m up this tag instantly, and fake fur has been 'faux fur' ever since.
Faux Fur Friday FAQs
Why is faux fur so expensive
It takes more time to knit such heavier-weight fabrics. Plus, printing these garments requires a lot more dye than normal, which also increases the cost.
When did fake fur become popular?
The faux fur industry took off in the 1900s, specifically, during the 1950s, when garments became affordable, and thus popular.
Is faux fur as good as real fur?
PETA thinks faux fur is an acceptable alternative for those who like this type of clothing, although they mention that everything we produce, fake or real, has an impact on the environment. The best alternative is using faux fur sustainably over several years to reduce wastage.
Faux Fur Friday Activities
Don a bit of faux fur
The best way to celebrate would be to pull out your soft (fake) fur clothing and snuggle in.
Take your faux fur out
Flaunt your faux fur in the outdoors by taking it for a walk. Strut around in faux fur boots or accessorize your plain shirt with a faux fur jacket. Make a style statement in your fuzzy best.
Throw a faux-fur-themed party
Invite people to show off their fuzzy best in a themed party.
5 Fun Facts About Faux Fur
Is that faux or real?
Even PETA acknowledges that the faux fur industry is so good at producing life-like fur that distinguishing between fake and faux fur is difficult.
These models reneged on their words
After taking part in the highly publicized anti-fur campaign in 1994, models Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell have since promoted real fur and fur products.
Lab-grown faux fur designer
Ingvar Helgason is developing faux fur that will be grown in the laboratory, just like lab-grown leather and lab-grown diamonds.
The U.S. government's help
Between 1919 to 1928, as wartime measures, the U.S. government imposed a 10% tax on real fur, giving a big push to faux fur manufacturers at that time.
Famous people support faux fur
Doris Day, Mary Tyler Moore, and more recently, Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus, Paul McCartney, and countless other celebrities have been ardent supporters of faux fur.
Why We Love Faux Fur Friday
We're fighting animal cruelty
We show our support toward animals by not glamorizing or wearing their fur.
We love the way it looks
It can be argued that faux fur is often more glamorous than the real thing, and it looks so, too!
We protect the environment
There are plenty of sustainable and eco-friendly faux fur options in the market, and we love them all.
Faux Fur Friday dates