As shoppers crowded Scottsdale Fashion Square on Friday, protesters outside the mall urged them to keep fur off their holiday shopping lists.
A group of about 20 animal welfare activists protested near Camelback and Scottsdale roads, holding posters and handing out pamphlets that decried the use of fur in fashion.
Given its upscale clientele, Scottsdale was a good place to target potential fur-buyers, said protesters who gathered to honor Fur-Free Friday, an annual demonstration that takes place across the country.
Fur was less popular for a while, but now it is coming back, said Christy Saint, 33, a member of the Animal Welfare Association, a student organization based at Arizona State University West.
"Maybe the protests have died down and people just aren’t as aware," she said, as a middle-aged couple pulled up to the corner in their vehicle and asked for more information.
Just minutes before, Saint said, other drivers had thrown trash at the protesters.
"We don’t live in caves; we’re civilized. We don’t really have to wear fur," said Ephy Skanopoulos.
Skanopoulos, a vegan, said she isn’t sure why more people are choosing to wear fur, but that pop culture could be to blame.
"The hip-hop scene is really into fur lately, and it’s always been seen as a sign of richness," she said.
A saleswoman at Evans Furs and Leathers in Fashion Square said she had not heard about the protest, and that her manager was not available to comment.
Protesters targeted clothing store J. Crew with their posters, and they handed out mock advertisements with models holding bloody animals.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals claims J. Crew gets fur from China where no federal law protects animals.
In Scottsdale Fashion Square’s J. Crew, the only fur item visible for sale was a furlined hat. The tag did not state what type of fur was used, though it was manufactured in China.
J. Crew’s manager referred any inquiries to corporate headquarters, which did not return phone calls.