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As many of you may have read, the New York Times posted an article online last month about nutria fur currently being marketed as the new “guilt-free fur.”  The argument is that since the nutria (giant swamp-rodents) are a threat to Louisana swampland and are being killed anyway in order to protect this fragile ecosystem, then instead of thoughtlessly discarding the carcasses it’s better to utilize the fur.  …And make it into fashion.

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A designer makes necklaces out of the teeth, Etsyans craft merkin panties and jewelry out of the fur…oh, and Michael Kors and Oscar de la Renta also incorporated nutria fur into trims and linings in their recent collections.  Saks is currently the largest retailer in the United States that carries nutria fur items (check out this Nutria Fur Jacket from Maison Martin Margiela!).

Remember Elaine’s “rat hat” from that episode of Seinfeld?  That Russian “sable-esque” hat was supposedly nutria, according to the storyline.  And maligned as “not even a good rat-hat.”

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So what do you guys think?  Is real fur in fashion items okay if the animal is killed as a pest anyway?  Is it right to attempt to wipe out a species if it threatens a long-established ecosystem?  Will people begin to embrace nutria and being to rank it on par with fur in general – or is the “ick” factor too strong?

What are your thoughts?  And would you ever buy or wear nutria?


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