I commented earlier in this thread that beaver pelts have become cheap. They're now dirt cheap: Average price $8.
Yet I see hats made from beaver fur felt costing about $250 more than equivalent hats made from rabbit fur felt. Did 31 beavers have to die to make one hat? Seems unlikely, and the pelts used to make the rabbit fur felt would have cost something.
^But furs (pelts) have become much cheaper even the past few years. Possibly the anti-fur movement is reducing demand by a lot. Anyway, I got this information off a trapping forum, in which the participants are bemoaning the fact that trapping animals for pelts is ceasing to become lucrative and is now pursued pretty much as a hobby. Of course this is quite abhorrent to urban sensibilities, and frankly even I have a problem trapping animals with steel leghold traps just for the fun or "sport" of it.
I wear a Panama or similar in summer. I've got a hat that I bought in Japan that looks very similar to a Panama hat but is actually made out of woven, recycled paper. It's great - perhaps surprisingly, it's extremely durable (although I'm not sure about getting it wet!) and it can be crumpled, twisted, folded and it returns to its original shape without any problems.
I've also got a couple of linen flat caps that I picked up from Uniqlo six or seven years ago that are great to wear in summer, although admittedly they don't provide that much shade from the sun.
I saw a guy today wearing a Panama hat and not looking like an effete bald twat.
For me, it’s just be another thing to lose when I take it off. Plus I don’t like losing that bit of peripheral vision. Sunglasses and sunscreen are ok with me, since I’m not planning on being in direct sun for any length of time.