My recent trip to Iceland was filled with many firsts: seeing the northern lights, driving through a volcano-side river, and eating foods like shark and whale, etc. Adventures one could write a story book about. Getting lost in the experience of Iceland is easy. But every experience in Iceland is rooted in the country’s natural beauty. Among all the firsts, my trip also had a very unexpected “second-first”:
my first fur coat my first, secondhand, fur coat.
Whenever I travel, I love bringing home a unique style piece and reliving a memorable trip each time I wear it. Fridge magnets and postcards are a thing of yesterday.
Icelandic fashion often uses animal to create stylish arctic wear, but many brands do so in a socially-conscious way. Shop after shop, I learned about crafters and designers that use scraps of cow, deer, sheep and other animals, that have lived their lives in the open wilderness. Animals that died of old age or were consumed for food, that were then fashioned into attire to protect locals from the harsh winters.
Among the shops, I was drawn to a secondhand vintage store. With racks of leather biker jackets and fur coats for every occasion and temperament, I couldn’t help but try on a few (or 10, or 20.) I never expected to own a fur coat at this young age. According to I Love Lucy, I’d have to wait for my future husband to gift it to me, after convincing him it was his idea. Unlike Louboutins, I never believed that fur coats belonged on the “independent women” self-gifting registry.
Opting for a second hand fur coat meant keeping this beautiful piece in circulation. It meant not contributing to the fashion-driven demand for fur. And it meant being able to tell this positive story. So, I made a exception to my own self-gifting rule.
I was delighted make this coat my own, and attach a few more Icelandic memories to it before bringing it back home to Washington, DC. My last day in the country was one of the best. With the first sign of clear skies, I made my way to the Hallgrímskirkja Church in the heart of Reykjavik to watch the sunrise – a must do for anyone visiting Iceland.
This glamorous piece will always be a reminder of my Icelandic adventure. It will be a reminder that life experiences, as well as fashion, should take in, and give back positivity.