Good Fashion Show: is real fur more ethical than we think?

Animal Right Activits have long fought for the disappearance of real Fur and labels like Stella McCartney have even made High-Fashion vegan, but have we taken things to far?

Fur Coats

At the Good Fashion Show ethical fashion designers expressed concern about the criminalization of wearing Vintage Fur Coats. Reusing old Fur Coats is more beneficial to the environment than wearing Fake Fur Coats, which are manufactured with harmful chemicals.

Suzanne Rafferty from Fifty-O-Fity, a Vintage Shop, that sells old fur coats and jackets with a part of the profits going to different Charities, said that  up to 4500 pounds per month are spent on burning old fur coats by councils. “People feel bad about wearing them and just throw them away”. She also pointed out that a natural fur coat is the best protection against the cold and can keep you from getting ill (saving the environment the chemicals in medicines).


Ruth Millan upcycles fur coats and jackets by embellishing them with sequins, feathers and lace. They look almost new and would be a fashion statement for many years (if I was not a poor student I would have bought one). She thinks that fake-fur is disgusting and that she would rather see people reusing old fur coats than buying artificial fabrics. For her label she also uses old Army Jackets, which she vamps up and turns into new clothing items. She says, that it’s hard to be completely ethical. Although she tries  to use materials only from organic or sustainable sources she has to give in sometimes. The studs on her jackets are from a regular manufacturer.

And this is what I’ve discovered apart from new arguments in the fur debate:

Overall the athmosphere at the Good Fashion Show was great and very friendly and business is flourishing: Ayesha Mustafa from Fashion Compassion says that the Label has achieved very much in its one year of existance. Media from around the world has written about it and Livia Firth (Colin Firth’s wife) wore the green Burqa dress for Vogue’s Pre Bafta Dinner this february.

Fashion Compassion bags

Astonishing was also the diversity of labels and ideas. Kokku is a label dedicated to preserving the Art of Sardinian Filigree making. It shows that sustainable Fashion is much more than just being environmentally conscious, it is also about preserving craftsmanship, traditions and our own culture.

I’ve also fallen in love with Snake & Fairies ‘s feather earrings, but I think they would be a little bold for me…

Dress by z-mode.

The event gave the strong message that sustainable Fashion has finally left the era of beige, shapeless shift dresses and awkward patterns behind. At least in terms of Style there is no longer an excuse for not going green and Fairtrade.

Photo Credit: Aurelia Seidlhofer via Smartfashioned

Please note that any comments regarding Suzanne Rafferty’s business won’t be published as they do not discuss the topic of the article, which is the questions of ethics when buying fur. Smartfashioned cannot provide a forum to resolve any business-related (payment of bills etc.) issues concerning people mentioned on the blog!


11 thoughts on “Good Fashion Show: is real fur more ethical than we think?

  1. suzanne rafferty is a con woman who owes a lot of people money do not believe a word she says.fiftyofifty will be struck off companies house after march when legal case against s rafferty completes

    • Hi,

      Do you have more information on this e.g. what fifty-o-fifty exactly does that is illegal? The Good Fashion Show appeared to be a well organised event and in a statement on their website they said that they took great care in selecting the brands and designers for the event?

      • I am just one person, that has been trying to get paid by Suzanne Rafferty of Fifty-O-Fifty Ltd, previously of 7 North Street, Winchcombe, Glos. Cheques that were given to me bounced. I have asked, on numerous occasions, that she either settles or returns my goods, but without success.
        I am in contact with other customers that she has also done this to, so I know I am not the only person in this position. It would appear from (enter Fifty-O-Fifty in the search box), that it is not just in her own locality that she is upsetting peoples’ lives. I was interested in the article but in particular the comments that had been left.

        If anyone knows where she might currently be trading from, please leave details on this site.

  2. We trusted this woman, Suzanne Rafferty, with a substantial quantity of jewellery over a year ago to be sold from her shop, ’50 O’ 50′ in Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, she was thrown out of her premises by the landlord in Autumn 2011 and we have received nothing – no money, no returned jewellery, nothing. We are currently dealing with ‘trading standards’ and are aware of others in a similar situation as ourselves.

  3. I have been trying to get paid by Suzanne Rafferty of Fifty-O-Fifty Ltd, ex of 7 North Street, Winchcombe, Glos. Cheques bounced I have asked, on numerous occasions, that she either settles or returns my goods. I am in contact with other customers that she has also done this to. It would appear from (enter Fifty-O-Fifty in the search box), that it is not just in her own locality that she is upsetting peoples’ lives.
    I was interested in the article but in particular the comments that had been left.

    If anyone knows where she might currently be trading from, please leave details on this site.

  4. The trouble is Suzanne Rafferty sounds plausible, very enthusiastic and you really want to trust her. BEWARE – and DON’T! She’ll promise you the earth, that you’re her number one priority, that when she’s sorted the latest little glitch you’ll get your money. It just goes on and on and on . . . You won’t get your money. Don’t give her anything to sell on your behalf. Sell it yourself or give it to a charity shop – at least you’ll know the money is going to a deserving cause rather than to The Suzanne Rafferty Maintenance Fund. It will be much better for your blood pressure too!

  5. I am Suzanne Rafferty and I am disgusted by the cheap and mean attack on any business I do. I am a nice person who has tried to pay EVERYONE BACK for stock left at the shop after a robbery, road works, theft and all other problems small business have faced over the last two years… and items sold before the robbery have all been paid out at a cost to myself of £28,000…and as I became ill in November the cost to me personally has been great. What cowards you are to write this rubbish I am still in Winchcombe everyday my son works there and my daughter at school, you are dispicable!!!
    Only nasty mean and greedy people use the anonymous internet as a means of destroying a competitors business. I have closed the business yes as being a theft target in Winchcombe was not my idea of fun. Anyone who ever asked for their stock back got it back when they paid our fees 25% the trouble with most people was they wanted the business to cover Insurance and costs and they get thir money. As for bounced cheques if i had my way cheques eould no longer exist and the only way for anyone to get paid would be supply your account and have it paid directly.

    • With the many comments from different sources, not just this site, these customers cannot all be wrong, too much of a coincidence that they have so much in common.
      I know who I believe!!!

    • Suzanne Rafferty’s personal opinion of herself as ‘a nice person’ differs to that of other people, both professional and private customers, who have had the misfortune to come in contact with her. There are far too many disgruntled customers who left items with her and have still not either been paid or had their items returned, despite Suzanne Rafferty trying to give the impression to the contrary on the Smartfashioned website. Her unfortunate reputation, of her own making, has a knock on effect to other traders by association if people think you have been connected with her. People might have a different opinion of her if she had dealt with her creditors in what would be perceived as a more honest way. Nothing can be resolved by avoiding/ignoring or being rude to customers that you owe money to when they attempt to make contact, other than creating a bad reputation for yourself and making things worse. When she took goods in, they were in her care, so if they have been sold, ‘lost’ or ‘stolen’ settle up. She has fobbed people off with excuse after excuse when she has been asked to settle for property she took from customers. If she has the goods, return them, if not, pay the vendors, simple.

      It would have been the decent thing to do, to contact customers to at least inform them of any financial problems. She would have found that people would rather have been paid gradually, in instalments, rather than not at all.

      If Suzanne Rafferty feels traders and customers are treating her unfairly, surely it is of her own doing and she should look more to herself and how she has treated others, hence they do not believe what she says and she has lost peoples’ trust. She has found, to her cost, you only get caught out by your own lies in the end.

      Even though she does not carry on her operation from a shop, the decent thing, and there is nothing stopping Suzanne Rafferty to do it, would be to settle her outstanding debts. People’s opinion of her may then alter. Trouble is, once bitten…..

      • The key word in any of the above statement is “Anonymous”…if you were a genuine customer who was owed money by me Suzanne Rafferty…or indeed ” Fifty-O-Fifty Ltd…you would not need to remain “Anonymous”…..when a business closes…for what ever reason…there will always be a certain amount of ” Bad Feeling”…but the wickedness of some people knows no bounds…the “Anonymous”.people…gossip and write damning articles…behind traders backs…..violate their friends by association or just plain talk nonsense…….thereby ensuring that the are ” Run out of Town”…or feel so uncomfortable that they have to leave. The day my shop was robbed 23rd November 2011… I lost a great deal…not just financially…but when you find yourself spat on..or called ” Paddy Thief”…or ” Gypsy…you have to be strong of character to take it…and I am…for two years instead of going Bankrupt or indeed …leaving…I live in the same house with the same telephone number…in the same town…and I enjoy a life with my children……you are just plain wicked……I was brought up in a Christian Lady Like manner….and was taught to turn the other cheek in the face of hostility…you were brought up to gossip and lie……if you had any decency prove the debt you and any copies of Fifty-O-Fifty’s customer records are available…I still have over 14000 satisfied customers…if you were not one of them….take some responsibility yourself…..maybe you were just greedy…or better still maybe you are just a liar…I do not have an opinion of myself…but who ever you are remember …you only come into this world with one thing your character….and you only leave with one thing …your character….I will be judged by a greater power than you….

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