Fur & furious, February 27

27 Feb 2015

This week Hong Kong plays host to the world’s biggest gathering of fur traders at the International Fur and Fashion Fair in Wan Chai. While animal rights campaigners denounce what they describe as a “bloodstained’’ trade, business continues to be brisk. The welcome Hong Kong gives and the money the trade generates is the legacy of more than half a century of business starting in the 1950s and 1960s as arrivals from the mainland were trained as apprentices in manufacturing and design by furriers from across the border who had established themselves over earlier decades. Ready access to finance grew the business and the city is now home to all aspects of the supply chain, from fur farm owners to designers, traders and retailers. As much as 75 per cent of the world’s fur garments and furs pass through Hong Kong, accounting for HK$1.8 billion in exports in 2014. The South China Morning Post’s Sam Tsang and David Wong, as well as photographers from Agence France-Presse and Sinopix, examine the controversy over this trade.