As we've discussed before, eating roadkill can either seem a distasteful idea or a viable alternative to industrially-farmed meats, especially for those who have serious qualms about the way animals are raised and slaughtered. But what about wearing fashion that's been made from roadkill -- and in particular, fur?
We know that conventionally-made fur wear is not green, no matter how much the industry tries to greenwash itself. But like advocates of roadkill cuisine who assert that it's a cruelty-free way of acquiring and eating meat, British fashion designer Jess Eaton states that her fashion pieces -- made out of roadkill or animals that died of natural causes -- is based on a philosophy of using all parts of a dead animal, and turning them into "things of beauty."
At first glance, one may think that Eaton's collection doesn't look that different from the usual suspects, until it's pointed out how it's sourced: there's a hat made from magpie and pheasant feathers, a rat fur bolero and animal skull jewelry -- all of it a big hit at Brighton's Fashion Week earlier this year. Stylistically, it may not be your cup of tea, but the way in which is done is uniquely thought-provoking.
As she explains in the video below, her approach is not about "sensationalizing death," but is based on the full utilization of what is already provided:
There’s a huge taboo about using fur for clothing. But the animals whose pelts i’ve used in these garments, didn’t die for their fur. absolutely no animal was harmed or died for the creation of this collection. I’ve used the by-products of food that we throw away on a daily basis anyway, animals that have died of natural causes, animals that were accidentally killed on our roads, and even vermin.
In the end, for Eaton it's about reversing our culture's increasing de-sensitization to death and cruelty, and re-defining what sustainability can honestly mean, especially in an industry that often tries to downplay its inhumane practices and environmental impact. For more photos of the entire "Roadkill Couture" collection, check out Jess Eaton's website.