It seems the buzz about Ogden is reaching far and wide and one amazing artist reached out to us from across the country, wanting to support our little town. Petite Mort Furs is a one of a kind company that specializes in sustainable accidental fur. We were definitely intrigues about her company when she offered up a designer hat for the Indie Ogden Award. Check out this spotlight all about Petite Mort.
What is “Accidental Fur”?
Accidental Fur is wearable one-of-a-kind art, sourced from wild and beautiful animals that have passed on accidentally. Some call it road kill – I call it resurrection and good sensible resourcefulness.
How did you come up with the idea for your company?
I’m a native New Englander of Mohawk ancestry who was raised caring for animals on farms and was always taught to have respect for the animals around us. Sustainability, accountability and resourcefulness were instilled in me from birth. After a decade of working in Europe as a global sustainability consultant, I returned to the U.S. to open Petite Mort Fur – an idea I had nurtured for years. Every time I came back to New England to visit, I was horrified by the number of dead animals left to waste on the side of the road. I felt horrible driving by them – it felt disrespectful. I wanted to take the theories of sustainability I taught, and turn them into actions. Making use of this otherwise wasted resource was incredibly practical. And the idea that I could influence the fur industry away from raising animals for their fur, and instead use “accidental fur” was very inspiring.
Is there really enough accidental fur to decrease the demand for raised and farmed fur?
More than enough. It is estimated that 1 million animals are killed on U.S. roads EVERY DAY – 365 million animals per year, that are left to waste. By comparison it is estimated that 50 million animals are raised and killed for their fur every year. Why is the fur industry continuing to raise, cage and kill animals for their fur, when we have so much more being wasted? Accidental fur really is one of the most sustainable resources we have.
Where do you source the fur you use?
From highway departments, wildlife and animal control officers, as well as licensed private individuals and companies hired by municipalities to keep the roads clean. We document every single piece of fur that we use. The date it was picked up, the location, the individual or company who sourced it – all of this is kept in our records.
What are the sterling silver badges found on your pieces?
My assay marked badges are made by an artisan in England. They are individually numbered as each piece is one of a kind. The badge number is also connected to the information we keep on record, such as date sourced and location. Transparency is very important to this company. We want you to know that each piece of fur used is fully documented so our customers can have peace of mind about their fur. In addition to the transparency we offer our customers, we also donate a portion of our profits to building wildlife road underpasses to help address the root issue of the number of animals killed on our roads daily.
What products do you make with the fur and where is it sold?
We make fashion accessories which can be ordered privately through my website, www.petitemortfur.com or through my Etsy shop. It is also sold in select boutiques and stores in New England.
How did you hear about the Indie Ogden Awards and why did you want to get involved?
I went to graduate school in Spain with a local Ogdenite, Ashley Wolthuis. I follow her real estate website and her Facebook page, The Elements of Real Estate. In following her resources over the years, I have been very interested to learn of the unique, diverse and culturally rich and redeveloping area of Ogden. When I saw that her company was sponsoring the Indie Ogden Awards I looked into it, and I loved what I saw, an awards ceremony celebrating the small companies and organizations that have big ideas for their community. I love independent thinking and strengthening local communities and here you are celebrating it – that calls to me. Then I heard the Awards this year benefits one of Ogden’s real treasures, the non-profit Nurture the Creative Mind (pianos in the streets is EPIC – Boston might need to steal that idea). I really wanted to support the entire event in any way that I could, even from the opposite side of the country. I contacted Ashley and we came up with the idea of one of my custom hats being placed in the silent auction. I am so glad to be a part of this event in even a small way – thank you for letting me and Petite Mort Fur be involved in honoring the spirit of Ogden.
Can you give us a little more information on the hat that that is included in the silent auction?
The hat is made of alpaca wool from North Brook Farm just down the road from me in Berlin, Massachusetts. The wool is then taken to a local women’s cooperative and they knit that hats. It was important to me to be able to support local and small scale artisans and farmers in my products. The hat in your auction is dark charcoal wool topped with black bear fur, and of course it is individually numbered with a sterling silver badge. This hat retails at $500 plus shipping and tax.