Pamela Paquin couldn’t believe her eyes. After living in Europe for years, she was horrified by the carnage on Massachusetts roads.
“There are bodies everywhere” says Paquin. “This is money being thrown away. It offends my New England Yankee ethic and sensibilities.”
This former sustainability expert now collects roadkill from local authorities and turns their pelts into luxury fur accessories.
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Her company, based out of Southbridge, Massachusetts, is called “Peace Fur.”
Paquin says PETA and the fur industry have given fur a bad reputation.
“From a sustainability perspective, it’s one of the best materials you can have. It’s warmer than anything you can buy that’s man made," she says. "It biodegrades back into the earth and it keeps being made.”
These animals also keep getting killed on American highways. Every year 360 million wild animals are hit and killed by cars, contrast that to the 80 million that are killed by the fur industry.
Paquin says she hopes her business model is an inspiration for the fur industry to consider using accidental fur rather than trapped or caged animals.
Here in New England, Paquin is able to collect everything from bear, beaver, coyote, fisher, fox, raccoon and even fawn.
“Fawn are actually protected so the only way they’re ever available is because they’ve been hit by cars.”
From these pelts, she’s able to produce hats, earmuffs, jewelry, scarves, vests and shawls.
She also says faux fur is bad for the environment.
“It’s made out of petroleum and how good is that for the earth?”
Customers can buy her fashions at her Peace Fur website online or contact her for custom couture.
“I’m really looking forward to providing people with an alternative source of fur that they can feel good about, and feel that they’re honoring the animals. They lived wild and free and they’re honoring them.”