A Vermont-based designer is turning roadkill into high-end fashion accessories in a bid to prove that there are ethical ways to source animal furs. Pamela Paquin, who’s also the founder of fashion label Petite Mort, can make anything from hats to leg warmers to hand muffs with the animal corpses she finds by the side of the road. Not only are they cruelty-free, they look damn good, too.
But the roadkill factor isn’t the only thing that makes these furs ethical.
Drawing on her Aboriginal heritage, Paquin blesses each animal’s body with a prayer to honour its spirit before leaving the body in the woods, returning it to nature. Culture Change also notes that about 365 million animals die across the U.S. each year as a result of car accidents, while only 50 million are killed for the fashion industry.
Paquin didn’t exactly learn how to skin animals overnight though. Having toyed with the idea for several years, she teamed up with a taxidermist in Vermont who showed her how it’s done.
‘We both had a shot of whiskey, I put some peppermint oil under my nose, and we found a branch in the woods to hang this thing from,’ she told the Modern Farmer. ‘It was super intense.’
The fashion industry seems to approve, as Paquin reports that orders are coming in strong and fast. Prices range from about $380 to $1,000.
But seriously, watch out for those animals on the road.