For a lot of people, the term “ethical fur” is nothing more than an oxymoron, since it still involves killing animals for their pelts, but one fashion designer is actually legitimizing the expression by using roadkill for her fur accessories.
Pamela Paquin, founder of the aptly-named Petite Mort fashion label, picks up animal carcasses from the side of the road and turns their pelts into fur accessories that sell for up to $1,000 a piece. All of her creations, from gloves, to leg warmers and hats are marked with a specially-designed silver disk that lets people know they are ethical products. “People need to look at the fur and say okay, that’s Petite Mort, it’s an ethical fur,” Paquin said about the distinctive label. I would add that it’s also a great heads-up to animal activists not to smear the expensive fur accessories them with paint, as they tend to do at public events.
The idea of roadkill fur had been in Pamela’s head for a few years, before she actually decided to actually make it happen. But after traveling the world as a global sustainability consultant and living in Denmark for seven years, she and her daughter returned to New England, looking to start over. She told the Washington Post that she found herself “sitting in the woods literally staring at the trees. Winter was coming. I was like: ‘What am I doing to do with myself?” There was that dead raccoon on the road the other day. My cousin’s a hunter. Maybe I should just do this.'”
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