I’ve been reading more lately about how clothing and accessories designers are moving to synthetic fur and leather vs. the real thing.
Back in the day as we say in Boston, I loved wearing fur. But when one of my icons, Mary Tyler Moore, froze to her bones while she visited the Great Wall of China because she wouldn’t wear a fur coat, that stayed with me. Eventually I stopped wearing fur, and then wondered what to do with it.
If you have fur and leather pieces you probably won’t wear or use again, here are a couple of ideas…
Born Free USA’s Fur for the Animals campaign is a donation drive to collect coats, hats, and other accessories made from animal fur. The primary goal is to give furs to wildlife rehabilitation centers and animal sanctuaries across the country, which use the fur to give familiar comfort and warmth to injured, orphaned, and rescued wildlife. They have a center in Connecticut where you can mail your pieces. This organization has an 82% rating on Charity Navigator.
Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center
109 Pequotsepos Road
Mystic, CT 06355
PETA accepts fur coats for its fur coat donation program. Every year, PETA holds “fur kitchens” at homeless shelters around the country for people who can’t afford to buy coats. They also send hundreds of furs to women and children in freezing war zones. PETA has a 79% rating on Charity Navigator.
Attn: Fur Program
501 Front Street
Norfolk, VA 23510
I asked a PETA representative if we can deduct fur gifts. They told me because tax law prohibits charities from determining the value of non-cash donations, they can’t list a dollar amount for a gift. They advised that if you’d like to declare your gift as a donation on your taxes, you need an appraisal before you donate.
And here’s a new way to “toss” – instead of throwing out old clothes, there are curbside collection programs offered by several cities across Massachusetts. You can donate your old clothes, shoes and other textiles to an organization that will resell, reuse, recycle or repurpose them. For more information visit Beyond the Bin Search | Recycle Smart (recyclesmartma.org)