Inherited an Old Fur Coat? Here’s What You Can Do

by Yvette in Comment — Updated March 30, 2024

When a beloved family member passes down vintage items like a fur coat, it prompts us to consider how to handle this inheritance. There’s even a proper way of cleaning natural & faux fur.. Beyond the luxurious allure, old fur coats carry stories, style, and, yes, some dilemmas.

Once symbols of status, these real fur garments prompt ethical questions amidst evolving attitudes toward animal welfare. Should you embrace their vintage charm, repurpose them into chic accessories, or donate them to teddy bear makers?

Of course, the decision is yours. Allow me to assist you in determining what to do with inherited fur coat by delving into its complexities.

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Key Takeaway

  • Inherited fur coats present ethical dilemmas due to animal welfare concerns and environmental impacts but also hold sentimental value and vintage charm.
  • Assess the fur coat’s type, quality, age, and condition to determine its value and suitability for various options, such as wearing, selling, donating, or repurposing.
  • If keeping the fur coat, follow proper care and storage techniques to preserve its quality, and incorporate it into your wardrobe through creative styling and accessorizing.
  • Alternative options include selling the coat through consignment shops or online marketplaces, donating it to animal shelters or wildlife rehabilitation centers, or repurposing it into new garments, accessories, or home decor items.

Ethical Considerations

Animal Cruelty and the Fur Industry

The fur industry presents grave concerns regarding animal welfare, with animals enduring significant suffering. An  estimated 100 million animals meet their demise annually for their fur.

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And they’re subjected to harsh conditions, including confinement in cramped cages and cruel methods of slaughter such as suffocation, electrocution, and poisoning.

What’s more, the fur industry’s production processes have been shown to have significant adverse effects on the environment, as indicated by numerous studies and sources:

  • Toxicity and Energy Consumption: Fur production involves using toxic chemical treatments and energy-intensive processes, which lead to environmental pollution and pose health risks.
  • Pollution: Fur farming releases various pollutants into the environment, including gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, and hydrochloric acid, which negatively impact air quality.
  • Climate Impact: Fur production has a higher carbon footprint than faux fur, with each kilogram contributing significantly more to greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Waste Management: Fur farms generate substantial amounts of waste, contributing to environmental degradation and presenting challenges for waste disposal and management.

These findings underscore the detrimental environmental consequences of fur production, highlighting the urgent need for sustainable alternatives to mitigate these impacts.

Alternatives to Fur and Sustainable Fashion

There’s a silver lining to this ethical dilemma. The latest sustainable fashion news shows alternatives to fur are gaining traction, ensuring that you no longer have to consider the ethical treatment of fur animals.

From faux animal fur made of recycled materials to innovative plant-based fabrics, there’s a plethora of cruelty-free options to explore. Brands like Stella McCartney, Vaute, and Save the Duck lead the charge, proving that fashion can be chic and compassionate.

So, what are your options when faced with an inherited fur coat? You could consider repurposing it into something new and fabulous, like a cozy blanket or a set of cuddly teddy bears.

Get creative and give it a second life that doesn’t contribute to animal suffering.

Alternatively, you could donate your fur coat to organizations that use fur for educational purposes or rehabilitation efforts.

Assess the Fur Coat

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Determining Fur Type and Quality

When you first inherit a coat, it’s essential to discern its fur type and quality. A quick Google search can provide valuable insights into identifying different fur types, such as mink, fox, or rabbit.

Look closely at the texture, color, and thickness of the fur. Mink coats, for instance, often have a luxurious sheen and dense, silky fur, while fox fur is typically fluffy and comes in a variety of colors.

Assessing the quality of the fur involves examining its softness, suppleness, and overall condition. Run your fingers through the fur to check for any matting or shedding, and inspect the coat’s lining and seams for signs of craftsmanship and durability.

Estimating Age and Condition

Next, take a closer look to estimate the age and condition of the coat. Consider the style, design details, and any labels or tags present.

Vintage fur coats may have distinctive features characteristic of specific eras, such as oversized collars or tailored silhouettes. Inspect the coat for any indications of wear and tear, such as bald spots, loose seams, or discoloration.

These signs can help gauge the coat’s longevity and suitability for wear.

Considering Sentimental Value

In addition to assessing the fur coat’s physical attributes, it’s essential to acknowledge its sentimental value. For many individuals, inheriting a fur coat carries deep emotional significance, representing cherished memories, familial connections, or a family heirloom.

Perhaps it belonged to a beloved relative or has been passed down through generations in your maternal or paternal family line. Reflect on the personal stories and anecdotes associated with the coat, recognizing its sentimental journey.

If the coat holds special meaning for you or your family, its value extends far beyond its material worth.

That’s because inherited clothing may have been meticulously cared for and carried with a sense of elegance and grace that reminds you of the original owner.

Care and Storage of Fur Coats

Preserving the Luxury

So, you’ve inherited a treasure trove of vintage furs or maybe just scored a stunning fur jacket at a consignment store. Either way, you’ve got yourself some prime fur garments.

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Credits: @le132turenne /Pinterest

Now, the key is to keep them looking as fabulous as the day they were made. Here’s a quick guide on proper storage techniques to maintain their quality and value:

  • Storing Smartly: Fur coats aren’t your everyday run-of-the-mill attire, so they deserve special treatment. When the weather warms up and it’s time to tuck away your fur items, opt for cool, dry places away from direct sunlight.
  • Breathable Protection: Use breathable garment bags to shield your fur coats from dust, moisture, and pesky critters. These bags allow air circulation, preventing mildew and maintaining the fur’s luscious texture.

Clean, Maintain, Repeat

Now, onto cleaning and maintenance – crucial steps in the fur care routine to keep your coats looking runway-ready are vital.

  • Handle with Care: When it comes to cleaning fur, gentle is the name of the game. Avoid tossing your furry garments into the washing machine or subjecting them to harsh chemicals. This applies to cleaning faux fur rug as well. Instead, give it a good shake to remove any loose dirt or debris, and then gently brush it with a specialized fur brush to restore its fluffiness.
  • Leave it to the Pros: Leave it to the professionals for deeper cleaning and maintenance. They’ll know how to pamper your fur coats, ensuring they look pristine and plush.

Option 1: Wear the Fur Coat

Styling Tips for Vintage Fur Coats

Don’t let your vintage furs gather dust in the back of your closet—here are some styling tips to make them shine:

  • Mix and Match: Blend the old with the new by pairing your vintage fur jacket with contemporary pieces. Think of a sleek pair of leather pants or stonewash denim jeans to balance out the luxurious texture of the fur.
  • Layer Up: Fur coats aren’t just for formal occasions. Throw yours over a casual outfit for an unexpected twist. A graphic tee, high-waisted skirt, and ankle boots can instantly elevate your look.
  • Accessorize: Add some flair with accessories that complement such a coat. Chunky jewelry, statement belts, and bold sunglasses can take your outfit from classic to cutting-edge.
  • Play with Proportions: Experiment with different silhouettes to create visual interest. Pair your fur jacket with a fitted dress for a glamorous night out or layer it over an oversized sweater for a cozy-chic vibe.

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Credits: @manoswartz /Pinterest

Incorporating the Coat into Your Wardrobe

Your inherited coat isn’t just a piece of clothing—it’s a statement. Here’s how you can seamlessly integrate wearing it into your everyday wardrobe:

  • Day to Night: Transition seamlessly from day to night by wearing it as a versatile layering piece. Throw it over a tailored blouse and trousers during the day, then swap out the pants for a slinky slip dress come evening.
  • Office Chic: Opt for a tailored fur jacket paired with tailored trousers and a crisp button-down shirt for a sophisticated look that commands attention.
  • Weekend Vibes: Keep it casual on the weekends with a fur-trimmed jacket paired with your favorite jeans and sneakers.

By incorporating your inherited fur coats worth well into your wardrobe, you’re not only embracing your family’s heritage but also making a stylish statement that transcends trends.

Option 2: Sell the Fur Coat

If you decide to part ways with your coat, then there’s the possibility of turning it into some extra cash. Hey, it’s a valid choice! And here’s how to ensure getting a fair deal.

Researching the Current Market Value

Before you go shouting from the rooftops about your vintage coat, it’s essential to understand its worth. Several factors can influence its value, like the type of fur, its age, condition, and even the brand.

A pristine mink coat from the 1950s might fetch a higher price than a rabbit fur jacket from the 1980s.

Websites like eBay, Etsy, and even specialized fur marketplaces can give you a sense of what similar vintage and modern furs elsewhere are going for. Remember to consider the condition and rarity of your piece when gauging its value.

Finding Consignment Shops or Online Marketplaces

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Now that you’ve got a rough estimate in mind, it’s time to find a buyer. A consignment shop can be a great option, especially if you’re not keen on dealing with the hustle of the online marketplace.

Look for reputable establishments that specialize in selling vintage furs. These shops often have a dedicated clientele interested in adding unique pieces to their collection.

If online selling is more your speed, platforms like TheRealReal, Tradesy or Poshmark, and other alternative sites, offer spaces tailored explicitly to sell luxury items, including fur garments.

Preparing the Coat for Sale

Before you send your fur coat off into the world, give it some TLC. A thorough cleaning and any necessary repairs can significantly boost its appeal to potential buyers. Plus, documenting any flaws or imperfections upfront can save you some headaches down the road.

Once your fur is looking spiffy, it’s time to snap some pics and craft a killer listing. High-quality photos showcasing the coat’s beauty and craftsmanship can make all the difference in attracting buyers.

And don’t skimp on the details—be honest about the coat’s condition, dimensions, and any relevant history.

Option 3: Donate the Fur Coat

If profiting off your old furs leaves a sour taste in your mouth, consider donating it to a local animal shelter or wildlife rehabilitation center. Your old coat could provide warm clothing to animals in need, making it a win-win for everyone involved.

Many animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centers gladly accept fur donations to repurpose them into bedding for rescued animals or to provide warmth during those chilly nights.

Here’s a list of organizations that eagerly welcome fur donations for animal bedding and comfort:

  • Humane Society: With branches across the country, the Humane Society is committed to helping needy animals. Your fur coat could become a cozy nest for a furry friend awaiting adoption.
  • Wildlife Rehabbers: Local wildlife rehabilitators often rely on donations to comfort injured or orphaned animals. Your furs could offer much-needed warmth to a recovering critter.
  • Animal Sanctuaries: Sanctuaries for rescued animals often appreciate donations of fur coats to enhance the comfort of their residents. Your coat could become a luxurious vest for a formerly mistreated animal living a new life in peace.

Knowing the cost of a mink fur coat or any fur coat, why donate them to animals instead of hanging them in your wardrobe? Well, besides the warm fuzzy feeling you’ll get knowing you’ve helped creatures in need, donating fur coats to animal welfare organizations has tangible benefits:

  • Environmental Impact: Repurposing fur for animal bedding or warmth reduces waste and minimizes the environmental impact of fur production.
  • Compassionate Choice: Your donation demonstrates your commitment to compassionate fashion choices that prioritize the well-being of animals.
  • Supporting Animal Welfare: Your fur donation directly supports the efforts of animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitators, helping them provide essential care and comfort to animals in their care.

Option 4: Repurpose the Fur Coat

If you don’t like to sell or part ways with the old fur coats, there are plenty of creative ways to give that old mink or pelt a new lease on life.

Repurposing them honors its legacy and adds a touch of uniqueness to your style. Here are some fun and stylish ideas to consider:

  • Fur Teddy Bears: Turn your vintage coat into adorable teddy bears or other stuffed animals. These make charming keepsakes or thoughtful gifts for loved ones.
  • Fur Pillows: Transform fur products into luxurious throw pillows to add a touch of elegance to your home decor. Cut the fur fabric into square or rectangular shapes, sew them together, and stuff with pillow filling. Voila! Instant cozy chic.
  • Accessories Galore: Get creative and make accessories like fur-lined gloves, hats, scarves, or even handbags.Inherited an Old Fur Coat? Here's What You Can Do 29Credits: @MillieScottStudio /Pinterest
  • New Fur Coats or Jackets: If you’re feeling ambitious, consider working with a professional furrier or tailor to repurpose the coats into modern fur jackets.
  • Modern Fur Vests: Fur vests are all the rage in fashion right now. Pair it with jeans and boots for a stylish yet cozy look.
  • Statement Collars or Cuffs: For a subtle touch of luxury, consider using small sections of the fur to create detachable collars or cuffs that can be added to existing clothing items.

Remember, the possibilities for repurposing vintage fur clothing are endless. Whether you choose to DIY or enlist the help of professionals, turning your inherited fur coat into something new and stylish can be rewarding.


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When it comes to dealing with old fur coats, the possibilities are as varied as your style options!

You could turn heads by rocking that vintage fur coat or make some extra cash by selling it.

But before you make a move, consider the impact on the furry friends and our planet. Dive into alternatives online and ponder the chill factor in your area.

Remember, the best choice is one that reflects your beliefs and fits seamlessly into your life. So, take your time, explore your options, and let your conscience be your guide!

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