Newsletter - Animal Writes © sm
10 October 1999 Issue

From [email protected]

The Fur Trade Today 10/5/99
Joe Miele
New Jersey Animal Rights Alliance

The fur-friendly "Harrod's" department store in London has begun carrying the 100-garment faux-fur collection created by Oleg Cassini. So much do they like Cassini's fake fur, that they built a special in-store display to feature these garments (more store space for fake fur means less store space for real fur, but it still promotes the look of fur as being fashionable -- a good reason to avoid fake fur as well. - JM).

* * * * *
Congressperson Thomas E. Petri of Wisconsin seems to be in the pockets of the factory fur Farming industry. At a recent "Safe Farms" rally held in Wisconsin to support the recently ALF raided fur farms, Mr. Petri showed his allegiance to this morally bankrupt industry by making the following quote:

"Wisconsin's farmers operate businesses that produce organic clothing and offer environmentally sound solutions for the disposal of food wastes…"

Source: Fur World 9/13/99

* * * * *
Trappers are urging each other to begin trapping a little bit into the season and not "burst out of the gate" on opening day. Since prices for the furs of trapped animals are low, local fur buyers are interested in only the highest quality skins. When animals are caught too early in the season, their pelts are not "prime." Tens of thousands of raccoon pelts and hundreds of thousands of muskrat pelts remain unsold from previous seasons since there is virtually no market for anything other than top-quality skins.

Of the few people in the United States who still buy fur, most of them are interested in factory-farm raised mink, not trapped mink. Even with America's preference for factory-farmed mink furs, factory-farmers are planning to cut down on the number of animals they breed and kill. Currently, there are more animals killed than there is demand for their fur. This drives prices way down to the point where factory-farmers are unable to meet production costs when they sell the pelts at auction.

Source: Trapper and Predator Caller October 1999

* * * * *
New York's last remaining dressing plant, Meisel-Peskin, has closed its doors after nearly 70 years in business. This could hurt the fur business in New York and elsewhere if business begins to pick up. The only other dresser in the area is Tubari of Passaic, NJ.

The mid-year total for imports of fur apparel into the US is 10% below this same point of last year. Despite the increased coverage of fur in the fashion press, US consumers are still shying away from fur.

Source: Sandy Parker Reports 9/6/99

* * * * *
Pelts sold at European auctions have been receiving slightly higher prices than in the past few seasons. These increases could have a negative effect in the New York trimmings trade. Trim makers are said to be light on fur supplies and therefore are unable to produce much at the lower prices they quoted to their customers earlier. The garment producers may either have to pay more for the trimmings or accept lesser-quality skins at the same cost. This is leaving a sour taste in the mouths of the manufacturers and could be a bigger problem with fox trim rather than mink trim, considering the greater increases in the prices of fox pelts overseas. In some cases, the prices paid for select bluefox had increased 50% over last year's prices.

Source: Sandy Parker Reports 9/13/99

* * * * *
Three creditors of Evans, Inc. recently filed an involuntary liquidation petition against the company. In doing so, they prevented Evans from selling its six Chicago-based stores and then filing chapter 11. Evans' creditors feared Evans planned to sell the stores to its own recently departed president and CEO at an advantageous price, then immediately declare bankruptcy. This move would have left the company with fewer assets to allocate to debts owed suppliers. Evans owes the creditors that filed the petition against Evans a total of $1,544,183.

Source: 9/29/99

* * * * *
Skin prices in general are well below "production costs." This is causing fur factory farmers to reduce the number of animals they have on their ranches. Early projections are that next year will see 15% fewer mink killed. This would bring the world total to fewer than 24 million -- lower than it has been in a long time. The number of ranched foxes will also fall (Finland - the world's largest fox farming nation -- will reportedly reduce the number of foxes raised in that country by 30%), while the trapping of animals will reach new lows because of severely depressed prices.

Source: Sandy Parker Reports 9/20/99

* * * * *
Though retail sales for the first 8 months of 1999 have been slightly above that of the same period last year, furriers are not very encouraged. Another bad fur season sales wise would easily knock out any modest increases that have been seen so far. It is not that furs have been selling well this year, it is just that the sales figures are ahead of last year'' -- one of the worst pre-season years in the history of the modern fur trade. Furriers are still looking to the winter fur-selling season to earn their living.

To guard against another dismal sales year, many furriers are venturing into larger offerings of fur trimmed garments. Leather, shearling, and fur-trimmed wool are being featured in the windows of many upscale furriers in New York City. The furriers who are doing well moving merchandise so far have been those who are conducting "Going out of business" sales and selling their wares at steep discounts.

Source: Sandy Parker Reports 9/27/99

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