As Moncler and Dolce & Gabbana join the ever-growing list of fashion brands to go fur-free, here are the fur-free alternatives replacing the real thing.
The production of animal fur impacts both human and environmental health, all the way from the fur farming practices, which lead to the degradation of land, to the toxic bleaches and dyes used, which threaten both the health of our planet and the workers in the production.
Many of the fur skins used in fashion to create fur come from fur factory farms. In fact, 95% of fur comes from fur factory farms, and these skins are purchased at fur auctions, which happen all over the world. It is through these auction sales that we can really see the extent of how many animals are killed each year. It is said that around one hundred million animals are bred and killed on intensive fur farms for use in the fashion industry. However, these figures are only estimations and cannot truly represent the impact of using animal fur.
Not only is fur farming used, but trapping in the wild is also used to kill animals for fur. Trapping in the wild happens mostly in the USA, Canada, and Russia. These traps inflict pain on the target animals as well as other animals that fall victim to them.
Due to these terrible impacts, some countries have already banned fur farming and the sale of fur, and now it is fashion's turn. The fashion industry has taken steps away from the practice of using animal fur. The British Fashion Council, for example, has banned animal fur from every fashion show in London Fashion Week, and like many other luxury fashion brands, as of 2022, Moncler and Dolce & Gabbana have agreed to stop using animal fur in their future collections. They have joined the long list of fashion brands that are part of the Fur Free Retailer programme.
This is where fur-free alternatives come into play. Some of these, known as "faux fur", are made from plastic and have not made the best name for themselves as they can negatively impact the planet too. However, with technological advances within the field of sustainable fashion, there are innovative solutions fashion brands can use instead.
These sustainable fur-free alternatives include recycled faux fur, which makes use of what is already out there. Reusing faux fur that is destined for landfills ensures an environmentally friendly future for fashion and fur.
Sticking to the recycled fur alternatives, recycled denim from frayed or repurposed denim can be transformed into fur! There is a texture difference between animal fur and recycled denim fur, but the aesthetic can still create the same volume and impact that animal fur has. This fur alternative reduces waste and again uses what we already have.
The last sustainable option for animal fur is bio-based fur. Known as KOBA fur, this is a bio-based fur made from Sorona fibres, which is a blend of oil from vegetable crops and recycled polyester. Produced by Ecopel, a faux fur textile and apparel manufacturer, which partners with the leading sustainable luxury fashion brand, Stella McCartney.
With 30% less energy use and 63% fewer greenhouse gas emissions associated with production compared to conventional faux fur, the numbers speak for themselves. Just watch this space; more and more of your favourite fashion brands will be using this fur-free alternative.
As luxury brand after luxury brand is stepping out and promising to be fur-free, these fur-free alternatives are the future of fashion, and now you know all you need to about these innovative technologies.