How can I reuse or recycle a fur coat?

Fur coatWe’ve had an email from “the Cleworths”, asking a rather interesting question:

A family member died and we are left with a fur coat that charity shops won’t take and neither will any period clothing outlets.

Any advice as how to pass this on other than taking to dump?

I can see why charity shops won’t take them – even though it’s second hand, it’d still be promoting the idea of fur as clothing – but does that mean the coat should just be dumped?

Is there anything that can be done with it that won’t promote the future use of fur – but stops this fur being wasted?

(Photo by markjhandel)

UPDATE: I’ve just deleted about 40 comments of people trying to buy or sell fur coats. I don’t like censoring discussion but this isn’t the place for it or for organising buying/selling stuff and it’s clogging up the comments list. Any future comments of this nature will be deleted too.

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93 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle a fur coat?”

  1. Bobbie says:

    If you have a dog or cat they would love sleeping on this fur.

    • d burgess says:

      I am the Manager of the British Red Cross Shop in Hungerford. We do accept and sell furs – 2nds only – regardless of the views on the wearing/producing of fur coats – I have never received a new coat – most being a good 20yrs old, the £300-£400 raised on their sales goes directly to helping the many people in desperate crisis.

  2. shine says:

    Some charity shops do take and sell fur – I know the Shelter shop near us does…

  3. Mary says:

    Sometimes theater groups look for fur items for costuming. You could have it made into a throw or sell it online.

  4. Anonymous says:

    My grandmother had an old fur that she had made into several stuffed animals that gave as gifts that year. There are several companies that do it. I’m sure a google search would turn some up.

    • LS says:

      I had my grandmothers coat made into three beautiful teddy bears with her date of birth and death embroidered on the foot sole. on the other sole, i had them embroider: loved by her grand-daughter and then my name. I had one made for my sister and another made for my mother who was so happy because she remembered the feel of the coat when her mother was wearing it. Many sites online will do this.

      • Aileen Robinson says:

        I would be very grateful if you could suggest some places in England to have my fur coats made into teddy bears. I have looked on the net but have had no joy. Could you help?

  5. fuchsoid says:

    I used to have a bedcover I made out of an old fur coat, cut up and lined with a nice decorative material. Very luxurious!

    • Niknak says:

      I have 3 fur coats from an old aunt and want to make them into a throw, how did you make your bedcover, any advice would be most welcome ! 11/10/08

  6. Anonymous says:

    You could get details on giving PETA the coat because they give it to refugees to use for warmth.

    • Jen says:

      When i volunteered in east Russia, I gave my coat away 3 times. I am sure there is someone there, or even on the streets in the US, that would love a fur coat.

  7. Lydia says:

    I made my grandmother’s old beaver coat into some very nice cushion covers.

  8. MeeToo says:

    This exact same thing happened to me, I ended up ebaying 2 vintage fur coats, they fetched about £15 each. i figured that’s 2 more people who won’t be tempted by a new fur coat. If you feel guilty spending the money you can always donate it to a anti-fur campaign group or animal charity.

  9. Ryan says:

    This may sound stupid, but how about cutting it up and using it for the inside of a bird house. Also, maybe the door for a doghouse. Keeps the biting wind out.

  10. MB says:


    Nov 1, 2007 to Apr 22, 2008

    “Give your furs back to the animals! Now through Earth Day, bring your real fur apparel, including trims, accessories and shearling to your local Buffalo Exchange and let us know it’s a donation for Coats for Cubs. Since you’re donating to The Humane Society of the United States, condition is unimportant. Used furs provide bedding and comfort to orphaned and injured wildlife….”

    • Ingrid says:

      Are you still running fur for Cubs?
      I have found some mink jackets/ collars/trims off coats etc when clearing my mother’s house.
      I desperately want it to help save living animals
      I live in the UK. Can fur be shipped abroad?
      Fingers crossed it can help a living animal somewhere

  11. rosie says:

    there is a website called and you can donate old furs so that no more animals have to be killed for their fur, its a good website.

  12. Helenabucket says:

    It seems so odd that a CHARITY SHOP, of all places, would turn down a winter coat. I actually own a fur I would never have purchased (somebody raised and killed foxes to make this thing) because my mother-in-law gave it to me. Just because I don’t approve doesn’t mean I want to see it go to the landfill.

    I LOVE the idea of the coats making some shelter animal feel a little more loved. What a great idea!

  13. IDD says:

    Re-enactment groups are often on the look out for fur – esp. medieval & Tudor re-enactors. Try some of the living history forums.

  14. Carol says:

    I am an environmental educator and would LOVE to have coats of fox, beaver etc to use in programs to teach about the web of life. (Allowing people to touch those furs in an educational setting them appreciate animals and their habitats, which leads to support for protection.) However, commercial purchase is prohibitively expensive for most nonprofits.

    I am also a historic re-enactor, and we spend a lot of our own money to provide free living history programs to folks, and always appreciate donations.

    So, if any of you have coats and know for sure what animal the fur is and would like to donate, you can email me for the next month at carol_l at peoplepc dot com. (I’d also be happy to sew a label onto it saying who donated it.)

    Thanks so much!

  15. isma says:

    I would donate it to the redcross for people to use that really need it.

    However I noticed that a lot of people here are uninformed about the fur and leather industry. There is no ethical meat, dairy or leather as well as fur unless you are having this animals and slaugther them. We are far away of how our ancestors lived with the farm and wild animals. This is the only reason we are a vegan family.

    If you are interested about this topic please go to

  16. Bella says:

    We are one of those companies who recycles fur into heirloom keepsake teddy bears. Recycling fur is just that – recycling. If you don’t want to wear it and the fur has sentimental value, it is a lovely way to create a a memory.

    Sometimes we get flak for recycling the fur, but we are not encouraging people to go out and buy new ones – just offering an alternate use for the fur so it doesn’t have to be worn. We give women the opportunity to work from home and make their families a priority. We consider it a win-win.

    If you are interested, we are at

    • Phyllis Cholewa says:

      I have a white mink 3/4 length coat from the 50’s. I also have
      a mink stole I would like to sell. Do you know of anyone who
      might be interested in buying them for use in making teddy bears
      or other projects?

      My email address:

      • amy says:

        hi just saw you email if you still have the mimk i would be more then happy to buy them at a reasonable price as i am wanting to make my kids some soft toys but diddnt realize how much real fur would cost ,as i have 6 kids it isnt goin to be easy please email me bac amy

  17. Philippa G says:


    I live in Moscow and many people here where fur coats, they are a necessity. I am backwards and forwards to London, and I would be very happy to take fur coats and donate them to a charity here as many people here cant afford the coats to keep themselves warm. Unfortunately there is still a lot of poverty here, and people do die from the cold.

    • Anonymous says:

      HI philippa, I have a vintage coat from Russia that was my grandmothers. And I wish to find someone in a colder climate like Russia to give it to. Is their a charity
      in Russia you can give me name and address of?
      I realise many elderly dont even have running hot water or electricity and I know they cannot afford warm coats.
      Soi I wish to gtive it back to them. let me know.
      Thanks for your good thoughts.


      • christine allen says:

        Hi, Suzie, Re sending a fur coat to someone in a cold country. I have a fur coat that was my aunt’s and l would love to give this to someone in a cold country i.e. Russia. Did you find anything out about how to go about doing this. If you did, could you let me know please.

    • jane Melhuish says:

      I have a good fur coat that I`d love to give to a poor Russian. Please tell me how to get it to you.

    • helen richards says:

      Hello Philippa,
      Are you still offering to take fur coats to Moscow? I have one which I could send. Let me know how it could work.
      (I live not too far from London)

    • Penny says:

      Hi Phillippa
      Do you still take fur coas to Russia. we have acouple we are looking for a useful home for and would happily bring them up to London for onward transit.

    • Pauline Cole says:

      my mother has two fur coats she would like to donate. are you still taking them to Russia? If so please let me know as she lives in south east London so I could drop them off to you.
      P Cole

  18. Tanya says:


    I work in costume and am working on a period film that will require a a lot fur coats. If the owner specifiec these can be donated to charity after filming.
    I would be grateful if I could receive photos of any of the items…

    please email me at
    or if that doesnt’ some up on the website – katoushka at gmail dot com.

    Thanks in advance!

  19. Alice says:

    Not everyone believes that the rest of the world was created for the benefit of human beings. Not everyone does eat meat.

    But you are right to say that this is not the place for this discussion – Let’s stick to finding ways of using the fur coats that people need to recycle.

  20. Marlee says:

    Donate it to PETA ( They will either use them in demonstrations or donate them to people in 3rd world countries.

  21. D.K. says:

    You can donate your fur to help orphaned animals! just go to and click on “coats for cubs”. The coats will be given to wildlife rehabilitators who will use it to comfort orphaned wild animals. Please consider making a donation. If you aren’t going to wear it anymore and it’s just sitting in your closet, why not make another living creature feel comfort in security in your donation? Thanks for considering.

  22. Sveta says:

    Nothing wrong with a fur coat, if you have to wear ti to survive a cold winter, like I do. I finally could afford to buy a beautiful sheepskin coat, which is light, warm and practical. And I am happy I will not feel frozen next winter. It’s up to -30 sometimes here. If you don’t need a fur coat,donate it to people in Ukraine, Russia, Canada, Belarussia, Finland, … you name it. It’s a shame you want it to put in birds nests or rubbish. People may be frozen somewhere and cannot afford to buy it.

    • jane Melhuish says:

      Dear Sveta,

      I have a fur coat to give away . How can I give it to someone in need in a cold country ?I`d love to know.


      • marie blundy says:

        Hi Jane
        I also have a fur coat which i love to donate ,so i would like to know if you found out where you could send them.
        Regards Marie Blundy

  23. Some teddy bear artists work with fur, using old coats and stoles to make teddy bears – which can make great family heirlooms or gifts – a wonderful way to honor the memories with a special remembrance – artists will gladly take them off your hands to use in bear making.

  24. Leah says:

    cut it into strips and put a back on it for a scarf

  25. Jan says:

    I know this website welcomes donated fur coats and you can tell them what charity you would like any funds raised to be sent to. They will even offer to cover your postage costs, which is around £6 if you send them via Royal Mails Standard Parcel Service.

  26. Tim says:

    sell it on so it stops people from buying new ones

  27. Sarah says:

    If you drop me an email I will be happy to purchase (at a relatively low cost!?!) any unused furs for use in my theatre group.

  28. celeste says:

    I am interested in buying used fur coats, pieces of stoles, fox mink etc.. at a reasonable price. I have lost my job and looking to create matching hats and scarfs to make extra money. I would appreciate it.
    Thank You

    • liz batrd says:

      have got a vintage fur coat that belonged to a grandma .. good condition, but of course they dont wear out! live in Cambridge


  29. Phyllis Cholewa says:

    contact me at:

  30. Catalina Samuels says:

    I’m going to Poland next winter, where temps can drop as low as -20, with an average daily temp of around -4 degrees. chilly chilly. I’m on the lookout for a coat; i would never normally consider buying a real fur item, but synthetic fur just isntgoing to cut it in that weather. I would greatly appreciate it if someone who is willing to sell/loan a real fur coat could let me know. If preferred i could also see about donating the coat to a local charity when i leave Poland.
    Many Thanks

  31. kittykat says:

    I belong to PETA and here is what I recommend to anyone looking to recycle or repurpose fur: The animal who LIVED in that fur paid a terrible price just so some IDIOT human could stay warm?! Or make a teddy bear?! DISGUSTING and totally unacceptable! We humans have MANY MANY MANY other options when it comes to staying warm and making toys without MURDERING beautiful defenseless fur bearing animals. Have you people never heard of synthetic high-tech insulation (like Polartek) which is cheap and plentiful? We went to the moon. You know, Space, where it’s fricking COLD! I noticed that the astronauts
    did’nt wear fur coats. Hmmm… Earth has an overabundance of human beings, and a disturbing shortage of H U M A N E beings. I believe the only two ethical options for disposing of fur are these: 1) Donate it to programs that use it for orphaned baby animals. 2) Give it a dignified funeral and bury it in a grave as you would a beloved companion animal. We must break this viscious cycle! The bottom line is this; we humans have’nt lived in caves for a loooong time and we do
    not need fur any more! When you give fur to another human you are condoning the use of fur by humans. What part of “THIS MUST STOP”
    is so confusing? And if you are fixing to profit from fur that you no longer want SHAME SHAME SHAME on you! How do you sleep at night?

  32. kittykat says:

    Kittykat ranting and raving again, part two. I did’nt always feel this way. I just very recently disposed of three fur coats I had owned for many years. So before you judge me harshly for being “another one of those PETA terrorist kooks” please just listen to what changed my mind.
    Too many people do not know how those animals on fur farms (like minks) are killed. One of the supposedly'”humane” methods is to have a metal rod placed up their butt and then they are electrocuted. This way their fur is’nt messed up. Wow. Also, somehow, some of the animals survive this, so then ,after that, they are skinned while STILL ALIVE! Wow. Well, shortly, of course, the animal will die and then no more pain or suffering for that animal. Good. But here’s what really bothers me, maybe most, about all of this: These deeds are carried out by a human. No NORMAL human who can feel empathy, compassion, or mercy would be capable of such deeds so I believe only true sadists or
    sociopaths REAL LIVE MONSTERS do this job. What kind of world do we want to live in? Forget about the animals for just one moment , focus on the humans, and ask yourself this; What the hell have we become?Do you want your children to inherit a world where this behavior is O.K.?

  33. kittykat says:

    Kittykat here, again, just in case any of you are curious if I was crazy enough to give any of my coats a funeral and bury them. Yes I did!!!
    I have heard of others doing it too (mostly PETA members).
    For those of you thinking Green: Fur is BIODEGRADABLE.

    • Shorty says:

      [facepalm] She just *SAID* “Is there anything that can be done with it that won’t promote the future use of fur – but stops this fur being wasted?”, not “I really want to hear a whiny PETA geek yell about something we already KNOW.” A teddy bear is way better than using as intended or burying it or anything nutty like that.

      • sam says:

        oh dear!!! If you are “thinking green” kittykat, what do you think the “green” consequences are of producing all those manmade fibres? Are they biodegradable? Its swings and roundabouts, there is no way we can be 100% eco-friendly. Even if we walk around naked and eat shoots and leaves, we might still tread on an ant!!! But its ok, I suppose we could always give it th “burial it deserves”.

    • amy says:

      i have never heard such a bad contradiction of oppinions in my life . 1st i need to be clear on this i do not agree with killing animals for fun .however meny furs are preowend and i got one off ebay and it was close to 100 years old and in amazing condition it is incredable how well it lasts. the animals are dead and it is in my opinion a sin to burry or burn a fur when it can be restyled. not preaching but god gave us the animals to use no man made fiber lasts 100yrs of washing and wearing and still has years left .and it dosnt polute our earth. so if i want to make teddys for my childern instead of buying one that has probley been made in a sweat shop i will. and if i can make a bodywarmer and matching hair bobble for my daughter i will and enjoy knowing that i used 100% recycled and reshaped fur that lookes if anyone can sell me a light colord mink in fair condition please reply to me as i am a recently single mother of 6 with no skills apart from sewing and am tryin to start a busness reshaping fur into teddys and redesignin coats i can pay p&p and resonable amount for fur .

  34. Shorty says:

    Let’s see, it can be made into lots of cat toys. I guess you can stitch two circles together and put some catnip inside and put a string on it? The stuffed animals sound slightly creepy but they’d work. As much as I hate to see it, my mom has this llama skin mat thing that’s like patchwork made into the image of a llama and keeper. If you had different colors then that might work. Anything that could be made or fuzzified is fine. Just as long as it’s not kept as a coat or gloves or anything. The more coats gone the better, it must not be condoned!

  35. Miss rainbow says:

    If your really stuck you could give it to a local fashion and textiles university , its educational to students to copie the fur there fore enhancing the need to re-create rather than use or if your not bothered let them make something for a project or experiment etc.

  36. Nadiya says:

    I am looking to buy used, unwanted fur coats at reasonable price for art projects. please email me on

  37. liivi says:

    Hi,there in north Europa ,Estonia, people wear fur coats,because its sometimes very cold in winter.Also there is lots of forest and wild animals in it-bears , lynxes,wolfs,foxes,rabbits and so waiter.So its very strange to read all that anti fur staff for me.Natural is the best.
    I own by now spotted seal fur coat,bear fur coat and mole fur coat.
    My ancestors hunt seals,so i collect seal fur staff.
    Also you can sell old fur coats on ebay,as vintage.

  38. Bobbie says:

    If I had a fur coatthat I no longer wanted to wear, for whatever reason I would cut it up and give it to my dogs to lay on, as they love anything fur-like and would be very happy there.

  39. Janis Popova says:

    Hi I go to Belarus every year driving down with vitamins and money and warm clothing if anyone has any fur coats or pieces to sew to make things, or glove or hats of fur — I am happy to take a few with us on the next trip. Many people there are well below the poverty line and fairly sick in the group I visit still suffering from the radiation. size doesn’t matter and I can take a few coats maybe up to 6 (space in vehicle) and several pairs of gloves. Please email me if you wish to donate anything and we can arrange it and I can tell you more about the trip.

    The coats really are useful in such cold conditions when people often wear them insides due to lack of heating – money and no CH in houses.

    Best regards Janis

  40. liivi says:

    Now 18. 12 there is -20C cold in Estonia,and nothing is better than good warm fur coat,hat.Mmmmmmm

  41. addy says:

    sell it on ebay or craigslist. make sure you say in the descripton how you got it.

  42. pfk says:

    I have to find a home for my mother’s coat (people weren’t aware of the cruelty at the time that she bought it). She is still alive so I don’t feel free to bury or cut it up. I think perhaps to sell one that is in good condition and donate the money would be the best solution. Most people who wear them are pretty unpopular so I don’t think it encourages other people to wear them.

  43. sue says:


    • Mrs Stewart says:

      Have got a kneelength musquash and a light brown mink jacket (Fletchers of Southport)

      Please reply by return to say yes or no.

      I would just require the postage.


    • Sharon Cardinal says:

      Hi Sue:

      I will have 3 fur coats left by my aunts and I want them to keep someone warm. Please let me know what the mechanics of mailing them to you are. I will probably have these in the next month.


  44. Polly Anna says:

    Sell it on somewhere like eBay (it’s a great place).
    I wear vintage furs and leathers. It’s a great way not to support the current trade yet still make use of what’s already out there.

  45. sunshinenat says:

    Dead animals help living animals: Donated fur coats, hats and trim make cozy nests for rescued wildlife

  46. muzz says:

    I live in Northampton and have a fur coat that used to belong to my Nan.
    I really like the idea of re-cycling it and donating it to an animal charity. Anyone got any contacts please?

  47. Janis says:


    I left a comment here in 2009 and since then have been given 5 separate coats and furs. They have been used to make new clothing for babies and blankets. All the projects are still running in Belarus and Russia and now in 2010 I shall go out first to St Petersburg and take warm clothing ( my son is living and working there now).

    Then I shall be going down to Belarus – so if anyone has any coats they wish to be sure will be re used to keep people warm in the winter please do get in touch, be aware your coat / fur maybe cut down to make other clothing for several children thereby lessening the possibility of the fur being sold on ebay or elsewhere. They will keep the recipients warm.

    You can deliver or send the items to either the Southwest, Lancashire or Fife in Scotland.

    Regards JB

  48. Sue says:

    I have a fur coat that was left to me that I want to recycle if you would like it. I live in the Southwest of England.

    • Janis says:

      Hello Sue

      We would be happy to take your coat out on the next trip either you can send to me or drop at a friends in the West Country either Exeter, Yeovil or Taunton areas.

      If you want to contact me on email it is: I can give you a call and tell you a little more if you wish — Best Regards J

  49. Upearly says:

    I have seen people take the fur coats, turn them into beautiful teddy bears and use them in charity auctions for animal rights or other animal causes. It’s a great way to have that animal that died generate a lot of revenue to help the animals that are still alive!

  50. mike richmond says:


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