US designer uses roadkill for clothing range called Petite Mort Furs

Woman holding a bag made out of fur

American clothes designer Pamela Paquin says she wants to change the face of the fur industry - by making garments out of roadkill.

The owner of Petite Mort Furs creates hats, purses and leg warmers out of animals run over by cars in Boston.

"All this fur is being thrown away," she said. "If we can pick that up, we never have to kill another fur-bearing animal again."

Each piece comes with a note explaining where and when the animal was found.

Sewing machine needle going through fur
Sewing machine needle going through fur

Paquin, who left an office job to start her company two years ago, works with animal control specialists to collect the carcasses.

She skins many of them herself, but doesn't like people calling them roadkill.

"It's a turnoff," Paquin said. "It cheapens my product."

The fur industry is worth around £23bn worldwide and much has been done in recent years to try to curb the sale of fur in many countries.

But there is still great demand in places like Russia and China and the Fur Information Council said the US alone recorded almost a £1bn in fur sales in 2014.

Women kneeling over animal skin
Hide being washed

"Clearly advocacy had failed," Paquin said.

"Alternatives must be found. Making use of animals that would otherwise be thrown away is sensible."

Peta, the animal rights group, said that there's "never an excuse" to wear fur, but that it's "far better" to wear roadkill than farmed fur.

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