ON FUR: Luxury shouldn't be defined as not having to ask where goods come from.
The little guy here on the left is a white Raccoon Dog (photo lifted from web). Since the 1970’s white and brown Raccoon Dogs have been largely the animals that make up your hood collars, glove trimming, boot liners and more – including being passed as other furs, sheep shearling and even faux fur – with major retailers such as Macy’s and Neiman Marcus found to carry products marked as other or faux but actually being Raccoon Dog (over 70% of fur in the US, per the HSUS in 2008), or as called when used on clothing, “murmansky” fur.
While U.S. law prohibits the import and sale of dog and cat fur products, a legal loophole prevents our laws from protecting Raccoon Dogs although a member of the canine family. Canada doesn’t require the fur type to be labeled, just that it’s fur. One figure estimates over 80% of fur comes from China – which does not have any policies addressing animal rights – go ahead and youtube that one.
And you’ll also notice your standard fare of domesticated dog and cat breeds being slaughtered in the China trade (all pet owners worldwide should know the term “Bunchers” – if you love your dog, google it; it’s not just in China and it’s not just for fur).
I own and wear multiple pre-70’s furs, though I personally see little reason to buy most any clothing “brand-new”. Aside from the poor craftsmanship and carbon footprint, the overseas garment manufacturing industries lack of worker and environmental rights is reason enough. Consuming pre-existing, American or fairly-made (ie, not third world sweatshop) items is pretty much a free-for-all on the guilt meter. Keep it local, with charity shops = no adverse impact.
Also see the Gomata leather trade in which India’s Sacred Cows are moved out of India for slaughter in whatever means possible for leather export abroad. Many die of exhaustion, dehydration and/or abuse before reaching their gruesome slaughter.