Skin fur & leather: a basic product which became luxury commodity 

La peau et la fourrure des animaux ont permis aux humains de conquérir les territoires nordiques. Autant les Inuits que nos ancêtres Madelinots n’auraient pu survivre aux rigoureux hivers sans cet apport essentiel. Bien avant de devenir un produit de luxe, il s’agissait donc d’un produit de base. La commercialisation de ce produit ne date pas d’hier. Les premiers colons acadiens chargeaient des bateaux entiers de peaux et de fourrures destinées aux cours européennes. Beaucoup plus tard, à l’apogée de la chasse commerciale au blanchon, encore une fois, les gros industriels battaient pavillon français, anglais, portugais, … 

Et puis, dans les années 1970, on établit finalement la règle des 200 milles marins qui assurait à chaque pays le contrôle sur les zones marines à l’intérieur de cette limite mesurée à partir de ses côtes. Mais au moment où les Canadiens ont enfin pu gérer leur espace commercial maritime, les offensives contre l’industrie se sont multipliées. À cette époque, on louait encore la toute puissante technologie : tout ce qui pouvait être industrialisé, synthétisé, fabriqué en usine, était meilleur, plus moderne que les produits naturels. Ça nous éloignait de nos racines animales, nous rapprochait de notre essence divine. Sauf qu’en quelques décennies de ce régime, l’homme a davantage pollué et endommagé la planète qu’au cours des derniers millénaires. Les plus consciencieux ont alors tiré la sonnette d’alarme : « Attendez, nous faisons fausse route! Il faut reprendre contact avec la nature, respecter l’environnement, revenir aux valeurs traditionnelles. »

Et en effet, en voulant devenir écolo, certains refusent de porter du cuir et de la fourrure afin de sauver la vie d’un animal. Ces derniers portent donc des matières synthétiques, produites en usine, polluantes, presque impossibles à recycler et qui finiront par endommager l’environnement : quelle triste et superbe ironie.

Le véritable geste écologique

The skin and fur of animals allowed humans to conquer the northern territories. Inuit as our ancestors Islanders could not have survived the rigorous winters without this essential input. Long before it became a luxury item, so it was a commodity. The marketing of this product does not date from yesterday. The first Acadian settlers were loading boatloads of skins and furs for the European courts. Much later, at the height of the commercial hunting of whitecoats, again, large industrial French flag, English, Portuguese, ...

Then in the 1970s, it finally establishes the rule of 200 nautical miles of each country that provided control over marine areas within this limit measured from its shores. But when Canadians were finally able to manage their commercial maritime area, the offensive against the industry have increased. At that time, was praised even the powerful technology: all that could be developed, synthesized, manufactured in the factory was better, more modern than natural products. This move away from our roots animal, brought us closer to our divine essence. Except in a few decades of this regime, the man is more polluted and damaged the world that over the millennia. The more conscientious then sounded the alarm: "Wait, we are wrong! We must reconnect with nature, respect the environment, to return to traditional values. "

And indeed, wanting to be green, some refuse to wear leather and fur to save the life of an animal. So these are plastics, produced in the factory, polluting, almost impossible to recycle and that will eventually damage the environment: What a sad and beautiful irony...

The real environmental actions

Despite what some groups feel uninformed, the real ecology is on the side of the leather coat and fur. If you want to account for yourself, just put a fur coat and a coat synthetic side by side in a field and see how nature will incorporate both. After a few months, the fur will be confused with the earth while in recent years, plastic, dirty and wrinkled, still pollute the soil. 

Like it or not, leather and fur (with other natural products such as cotton, wool and linen) are the only truly green apparel products. These are quality fabrics, renewable and fully biodegradable.


No sacrifice of Quality

When the first synthetic appeared, they praised their versatility. It is true that at that time, you could blame the leather garments and fur weight and sometimes their lack of waterproofing. But times have changed. Technologies were put to the service in the industry today to produce successful clothing and accessories light, waterproof and stylish.  Large companies (such as Rolls-Royce) have used the leather seal for its outstanding qualities. Of course, with all the misinformation spread by animal groups, they had to switch to less controversial products.

But not to go far to confirm  the quality of seal skin. Just think of the legendary skin boots seal. Those who have will tell you that to date has not yet been marketed product more wear-resistant and more resistant to moisture and cold. When the old Islanders went fishing smelt, they handled their nets wet bare hands while standing on ice for hours. Their secret to keep their ends: good pair of boots and mittens of seal skin...

Seals and land based mammals provided the basics of survival for both the Aboriginal peoples and later our European ancestors. The meat fed them; the fat was part of their diet, and was a source of fuel for lamps; and the skins provided clothing and many other products essential to life in a rugged, hostile environment.
Historically sealers have traded all the products derived from seals both within Canada and to foreign markets and continue to do so today. Today's sealers supply the markets with a natural food product containing no additives or chemicals. Unlike "faux fur", which is derived from "petrochemical"  base products, seal fur and leather products are natural and come from a sustainable resource. The same applies to the medicinal products sourced from the seals taken by our sealers. In fact, despite claims to the contrary, Canadian sealing as practiced by our people is as "green" as it is possible to be; is sustainable as the quotas established by the scientists ensure our take is well below the reproduction rates of the Harp seal herd; it is humane in that the regulations and training governing sealing licenses ensure that our sealers operate with the same humaneness as any abattoir anywhere in Canada or the western world; sealskin products - fur and leather - are famous for their durability in a society having so many products with a very short lifespan.. 
In short, our sealers should be praised for leading the way with their sustainable use of a natural resource to produce a wide variety of products that are the very essence of "green". 

In the Magdalen Islands, 2 companies manufacture clothing & footwear from seal skin: 

In Newfoundland: