LaceyDu – Nutria Fur Jewelry to Restore the Wetlands
by MissMalaprop on December 16, 2010
Some of you may remember this past January when I posted about and modeled for my friend Kerry in the Righteous Fur fashion show. Righteous Fur has really taken off this year – there have been a couple of local nutria fur fashion shows here in New Orleans, and last month there was a Righteous Fur event in New York City. Some big mainstream designers have started working with nutria fur more in recent years as well.
The deal with nutria fur is that many are calling it a “guilt-free” alternative to other fur products because the nutria are wreaking environmental havoc on the south Louisiana ecosystem. This non-native species was imported from Argentina and introduced to the area in the 1930s, and since then they’ve invaded the local wetlands, destroying marsh grasses and displacing native animal species. Our wetlands are disappearing at an astonishing rate, and the nutria are play a big role in the problem. Obviously they should have never been brought here to begin with, but now that they are here, local wildlife officials have to kill many of these creatures each year to help protect the rest of this fragile ecosystem. So many local designers have started using the soft nutria fur in their clothing and accessory designs so that the nutria haven’t died totally in vain. I still have mixed feelings on the whole thing, honestly, but after modeling for Kerry last year, I will say that the nutria fur is really soft to the touch and beautiful – it’s kind of like a longer rabbit fur.
Lacey Dupre, a proud Cajun and local designer from Lafayette, Louisiana, recently got in touch with me to let me know about her nutria fur designs. She’s been incorporating some of the fur into vintage inspired jewelry designs, as seen above. If the idea of wearing fur as jewelry freaks you out though, don’t fret because Lacey also designs other jewelry that is fur-free as well. A portion of her sales goes to coastal restoration. Check out her website or Etsy shop to learn more and shop her collection.