Fur is making a comeback on catwalks 'round the world, Yahoo! informs, after years of being literally out of fashion (see this 1994 PETA ad). According to the report, 70% of designers have brought out the fur in their winter collections this year. It's a dramatic rise over that seen in previous years.
In the last 10 years, global mink fur production has doubled, reaching 66 million skins last year, according to Finnish auction house Saga Furs. Despite the rise of Chinese producers, Europe still tops the world ranking, with [generally very "progressive"] Denmark in first place.
Some speculate that the return of animal hides to the skins of runway models is due to the recent financial crisis felt worldwide. With the economy the top priority, cracking down on the fur trade takes a back seat.
"The luxury of political correctness may have gone down the drain with the financial crisis," said one lobbyist for the fur industry. "If you're in a situation where the economy is on a downward trend, politicians tend to focus on essentials - how to get economic growth going again, securing jobs."
Anti-fur activists are of course having none of that. The report notes the violence deployed by many such individuals, most of whom are operating in Europe: "In Sweden...farms are attacked and some owners have been threatened and physically assaulted."
But to those who'd claim violence doesn't solve anything, it would appear it's likewise far from counterproductive. Militant anti-fur actions have coincided with proposals by governments to do away with fur farming, or at least make it more "humane." Holland, the world's fourth largest mink producer, says it will completely outlaw the trade by 2024.