Sustainability is still a continuing problem, and fur debates are getting more intense

- Mar 26, 2019-

Fur has always been a controversial topic in the fashion industry, but in the past few months, the debate about fur has become more intense than ever.


The anti-fur movement has grown over the past few years. More and more brands and companies have joined the campaign: In February of this year, online retailer FarTetch announced that it would ban the sale of animal fur products; in December 2018, Chanel announced that it would no longer use fur; Coach. Previously, brands such as Burberry, Gucci, and Versace have all banned the use of fur. Last year's London Fashion Week, it was forbidden to display any clothing or accessories that used animal fur.


Not only that, but some places prohibit the sale and production of fur. Cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco have enacted regulations prohibiting retailers from selling fur, or face huge fines; fur farming is banned in the UK, Australia, the Netherlands and Norway.


Some brands such as Shrimps and Charlotte Simone are already actively promoting artificial fur – these artificial furs look more ethical because no animals are hurt.


But fur supporters point out that artificial fur can harm the environment. Artificial fur is usually made of synthetic polymer fibers such as acrylic, modacrylic or polyester fibers. These ingredients are essentially plastics, which are often refined from coal and petroleum. These fibers fall off and may eventually enter the ocean - which is extremely harmful to wildlife - or are sent to landfills - but are generally not biodegradable.


“The fashion industry tells us that we shouldn’t kill animals to get fur. But what they didn’t tell us is the carbon produced by the artificial alternatives,” Mary Creagh told Independent. Creagh is a member of the British Parliament and takes the lead. The work of the Fur Research Survey.


These fur supporters claim that, on the contrary, fur is sustainable and biodegradable. “Some artificial furs are said to have been developed from recycled plastics, which is good, but it is still plastic,” said Mark Oaten, president of the International Fur Federation (IFF). In addition to the chemicals used in the dyeing process, natural fur is “ A truly sustainable product" - can be used for 30 years. "Vegetarians are not wrong, but they should not be imposed on others," Oaten said.


In order to make fur more ethical, IFF has also launched a “FurMark” certification that sets high standards for sustainability, animal welfare, and fur dyeing. “We want everyone to feel confident and confident when buying natural fur,” said Nancy Daigneault, vice president of IFF Americas. The project is scheduled to be fully operational on January 1, 2020.


Does fur production not cause environmental pollution? The animal rights person asked. “The fur is not green – it has caused great damage to the environment. The mink farm produces a lot of phosphorus-containing manure that flows into nearby rivers and rivers, causing harmful emissions of nitrous oxide and ammonia,” Mimi Bekhechi, director of the International Program for the Rights Organization Animal Ethics Treatment (PETA), said.


Natural fur and artificial fur, who has a greater impact on the environment? Both sides have developed research to support their respective arguments: fur supporters have moved out of a IFF 2012 study that concluded that natural hairs have less impact on the environment and human health; the Dutch research firm CE A 2013 Delft report pointed out that natural fur has a greater environmental impact than artificial fur. According to the report, “Natural fur products have at least three times more environmental impact than the most unfavourable artificial fur products.” It is impossible for either party to change its views quickly.


Anti-fur people further pointed out that the artificial fur industry is also moving in a more sustainable direction. Some brands have adopted innovative production techniques to reduce carbon emissions. Brands such as Stella McCartney, Shrimps, and Dries Van Noten are developing higher quality and more sustainable faux fur.


But what is certain is that this debate will not be resolved soon.


Some people think that the current discussion about fur is just a cycle of animal rights protests in the 1990s. Remember the 1995 PETA event, "I would rather wear naked fur?" But the models quickly continued to wear fur on the streets, fashion shows and advertising campaigns.


“Fashion is cyclical. Anti-fur is very fashionable, and wearing fur will be very fashionable soon,” says fashion historian Judith Watt. “This is not for people who are demeaning or smashing anti-fur. I am talking about designers. They Furs will still be considered. If they really want to find alternatives to fur, they need to think seriously about it, not just the subconscious."


It may not make much sense to argue whether artificial fur has an impact on the environment. The question is, how does the fashion industry find better material solutions? As Kym Canter, CEO of the New York-based House of Fluff, says, many of the garments we wear are made of synthetic fibers that are not good for the planet. “In the fast fashion world, products are quickly discarded and take years to bio degradation".


Sustainability is still a continuing problem, and artificial fur is only a small part of it.