"Guilt-free Fur" Fashion Show?

“People are more violently opposed to fur than leather because it’s safer to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs.” –Unknown

Sunday night, at the House of Yes, here in Williamsburg, a new line of fur heavy fashion will debut in a show called Nutria Palooza.  It’s billed as a cruelty-free alternative to traditional fur fashions.  Why, you ask? Because this fur comes from animals already killed as part of a Louisiana state initiative to control the animal’s population.  That’s right, Lousiana, and the animal, the nutria, or coypu is more commonly known as a swamp rat.  With help from a  grant from the Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary Foundation, Cree McCree founded a line of products to utilize the leftover corpses of these state-deemed varmints, called Righteous Fur.  Louisiana started paying trappers by the pelt when the nutria, originally brought to the swamplands from South America for fur-farming, grew in numbers so great their population threatened the local eco-system.  In addition to the fleece, Righteous Fur uses the nutria’s distinctive bright yellow teeth in jewelry as well.  Their hide is being used to sole shoes. “If they’re being killed anyway..then why not make something beautiful out of them?” McCree told the Times.  As previously mentioned, nutria fur is nothing new, with fashionable Hollywood icons like Greata Garbo wearing it back in her day.  History seems to be repeating itself, with modern designers taking nutria notice. From the Times:

Designers like Billy Reid (who recently won a major fashion award…), Michael Kors and Oscar de la Renta have incorporated nutria lining or trim in recent collections, and the fur has shown up on Etsy, the online store that specializes in handmade and vintage crafts, in the form of merkins — triangular patches sewn onto flesh-colored panties.”

Righteous Fur first debuted at a release in New Orleans, but Sunday, the show comes to the big city “guilt-free.” If only we could invent guilt-free alternatives to everything that weighs morally on our consciences. It evidently doesn’t even have to be very different than the guilt-filled alternative.  If you wanna check it out, you can get tickets here.