February 25th, 2014
11:59 AM ET

Faux fur the future in Africa?

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After the kind of winter we've had here in New York, upgrades on winters coats have been the style of the season. And at the city's recent fashion week, one of the must-have items was what was described as a “fabulous fur.”

Halfway across the world, the South African men in the video are sporting fur of their own during a religious ritual. Carrying Zulu warrior shields, the men are wearing the traditional ceremonial attire of the Shembe religion – a monkey tail loin cloth, ostrich feathers on their head, a leopard skin belt, and a leopard skin cape.

And perhaps fashion designers should copy this African custom. You see, for some of the members the fur is fake. In fact, it’s made in China.

The international trade of leopard parts is illegal, and the skins used in this ceremonial attire usually come from poachers. But thanks to a project by the Wildcat Conservation group “Panthera,” a fake fur material is now being made in China and shipped to South Africa. Ten percent of members are estimated to have made the switch to synthetic fur, and thousands of these fabulous faux shoulder capes have been shipped to the region.

It's a strange day when African animal skins are manufactured in China and shipped via DHL...but it is certainly the bright side of globalization.

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Topics: Africa • Last Look

soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. JAL

    Tres fab.

    February 25, 2014 at 8:54 pm |
    • JAL

      Just kidding. I would never say that.

      February 25, 2014 at 8:54 pm |
  2. Rupert

    I wear fur and tire of these crybabies.

    February 25, 2014 at 10:39 pm |
  3. chrissy

    Faux fur is just as attractive and no one gets offended. Whats the problem?

    February 26, 2014 at 12:50 am |
  4. Francisco

    If i wear the same outfits like them, we have to be careful for being discriminated

    February 26, 2014 at 10:31 am |
  5. Biteme

    Faux fur from china? Hello?!! China is known to brutally kill and use cat and dog hair as fur. This is such an ignorant news post from CNN. If they did their research they would find that the Chinese steal people's pets and then skin them alive for their 'faux fur'.

    February 26, 2014 at 11:03 am |
    • EA Marco Polo

      Brutal West European used violence to make 25 million African black slaves, and tortured 8 million African black slaves to die in European ships, including many children.

      Besides, immoral George Washington made bills for building largest black slave country. Every suffering African country should get an apology and compensation (US$ 25-45 trillion) from the immoral west European countries and the US.

      (These brutal European should be called as sub humen.)

      March 2, 2014 at 6:21 am |
  6. chrissy

    Umm @ Biteme, they eat them to i hear.

    February 26, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
    • EA Marco Polo

      The US used evilest chemical weapon, Agent Orange, poisoned millions of innocent people, animals and plants in Vietnam. African children are killed by the US in black slave trade and recently in Libya, such as grandchildren of Gaddafi, age below 12.

      March 2, 2014 at 6:25 am |
  7. Looks Like

    Looks like some villages could use some basketballs.

    February 27, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    Perhaps it is time to retire the practice altogether. Fake is Fake.

    March 6, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
  9. millie wen

    fake fur is follow the ideal of respecting animals life and human health http://www.canfur.com.

    April 24, 2014 at 1:10 am |
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