What Is Faux Fur, Anyway?

Faux fur is big this week—much to PETA's delight—and was spotted at both the Matthew Williamson and Diane von Furstenberg tents. So where exactly does the fake stuff come from? provides a brief history, noting that the cheap alternative has made its rounds since the Great Depression, when it was made with alpaca hair. In later decades, synthetic fiber was used, making the pelts a touch more realistic. Today, faux fur combines acrylic and other polymers, sometimes even with cotton and hemp to keep both animal and environmental lovers happy. Has fashion found another change everyone can believe in?