Gore back in vogue for anti-fur campaign

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The Independent Online
After the models, the nudity and the glamour, comes the harsh reality.

A graphic anti-fur campaign was launched yesterday which focuses on the reality of the dead animals which are used for fur coats rather than the celebrities who oppose them.

The campaign by Respect for Animals employs posters depicting the skinned head of a fox emerging, teeth bared, from a fur coat, together with the caption: "Do you have the face to wear fur?"

Its style is in grim contrast to another poster unveiled six weeks ago by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) on which models posed naked under the caption: "Turn your back on fur."

Both are a response to a growing perception that after years of social rejection, fur is fashionable once more. Fashion designers Karl Lagerfeld, Gucci, Prada and Amanda Wakeley have been flaunting it on the catwalk and French Elle magazine recently declared: "It's okay to wear fur again."

Yesterday's campaign was launched by the singer Cathy Dennis, fashion designer David Fielden and the Labour MP Ken Livingstone. A spokesman for Respect for Animals, Mark Glover, said the poster had been cleared by the Advertising Standards Authority, and justified its graphic nature. "We think it goes far enough but not too far. Obviously it's designed to make fur wearers think about the garments they're wearing and where they come from. That's our object and we feel this is the best way of achieving this."

Mr Glover added that 95 per cent of people in Britain were against wearing fur, but he warned that the current fashion for fake fur meant a growing acceptance of the real thing.

Many large department stores, including Selfridges, now have a no-fur policy, refus- ing to stock garments featuring any fur. Harrods no longer has a fur department but sells garments with fur-trim collars.

Twelve years ago, fur sales in Britain totalled pounds 80m and by 1989 had dropped to pounds 11m. But recently sales have started to creep up again and the British Fur Trade Association reported imports of fur into Britain of pounds 22m in 1994, up from pounds 18m the previous year. The Fur Education Council claimed that sales were up 30 per cent last year.

The poster was received badly by the fur-selling trade. At outfitters Swaine Adeney Brigg and Herbert Johnson, in central London, retail manager Richard Jaggs-Fowler described the poster as "horrendous" but said it would not prevent him ordering more than 100 mink, sable and fox-fur hats a year.

"Wearing fur is more natural than bringing oil out of the ground to make a man-made coat," he said.