The return of fur to the catwalks shows there's a fashion in ethics too

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Cindy Crawford has been signed up as the new face of Blackglama, the company which farms the black mink that was a favourite of her Hollywood legend namesake Joan. Animal rights activists are puzzled by the supermodel's actions, since like a lot of models Ms Crawford used to be an anti-fur campaigner. What the poor dears don't get is that Cindy used to be anti-fur simply because it was fashionable to be anti-fur. Now it's fashionable to be pro-fur, so Cindy's pro-fur too.

Cindy Crawford has been signed up as the new face of Blackglama, the company which farms the black mink that was a favourite of her Hollywood legend namesake Joan. Animal rights activists are puzzled by the supermodel's actions, since like a lot of models Ms Crawford used to be an anti-fur campaigner. What the poor dears don't get is that Cindy used to be anti-fur simply because it was fashionable to be anti-fur. Now it's fashionable to be pro-fur, so Cindy's pro-fur too.

At one point, the ethical anti-fur campaign was riding high. Its clever and aggressive advertising campaigns were credited with driving fur out of style and bringing the industry to its knees. At its lowest point, in 1989, the British fur industry was worth £11m. Now it is worth £500m.

There are a lot of reasons for this, not least that the industry has worked hard at making fur fashionable again. In particular, the Scandinavian company Saga Furs has forged a link with cutting-edge designers. It freely shares its research into fabric technology, and sponsors students at Central St Martins school of fashion. But the fur industry has also benefited from sheer timing. Luxury, decadence and bling-bling values are in, which means that fur is in.

What is interesting though is that while the fashion models who change their spots from polka to leopard so casually seem fickle, the truth is that the whole animal rights protest movement is vulnerable to shifts in fashion. It's not just the models who are fickle, but the population too.

It may have looked in the past as if the animal rights movement was influencing fashion. But it is more complex than that. Fashion was not as powerful in the 1980s as it is now. It was viewed as frivolous, unworthy and silly. Fashion, back then, just wasn't as fashionable as it is now. Fashion is in. But what's out? Science is out. So being anti-vivisection is in. Fashions in clothes may be frivolous. But fashions in ethics? It would be nice if only models indulged in such luxuries.

Time to grow up

As a last hurrah before its copyright runs out, the Great Ormond Street Children's Charity is inviting authors to tender ideas for a sequel to Peter Pan. This is a brilliant fundraising idea. Such is the enduring obsession with the boy who never grew up that a follow-up will fly off the shelves like the lad himself.

But whether it is a brilliant literary idea remains to be seen. Even now - perhaps especially now - the tendency is to shy away from the darker aspects of this complex tale. Under the auspices of a children's charity, any author can be expected to go only so far in exploring the options available to boys who don't want to grow up. The acceptable avenue is that explored in Steven Speilberg's Hook. The banal message was that adults should stay in touch with their inner child.

The truth is that adults are too much in touch with their inner child, and not with their actual children. Peter Pan described brilliantly the essence of what it is to be a boy - and a girl - on the brink of adolescence. A decent sequel would capture what it is to be an adolescent on the brink of adulthood. It might also explain why, in the century since Peter Pan was written, boys have become more lost than ever, in all kinds of ways.

The snag is that such a book, if done properly, would not be suitable for young children. Great Ormond Street will not court such controversy - and rightly. But it would be a fitting tribute to JM Barrie if one day a sequel was written that made explicit the challenges of the original, and inspired a radical rethink of our attitudes to childhood and growing up.

¿ Apparently there are two outstanding British winners at this year's Olympics: the nipples of Sharron Davies, seen under her top as she comments on the swimming. Sometimes one imagines there has been a sexual revolution in Britain. Then one realises that traditional British immaturity about sex has merely been given free expression. Smutty smirks may be harmless. But the dark side includes an unacceptably high abortion rate and rampant VD. Sexual freedom is a fantastic thing. But without sexual responsibility, it's sad and pathetic.

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