Why Choose Fur?
Mark Oaten, CEO of the International Fur Federation Talks Innovation Amongst Designers
Not only does fur have a rich heritage, it is extremely cutting edge. Fur is no longer just your grandmother’s old coat, designers are constantly innovating the material using a variety of techniques and combining textures to create fun, interesting and wearable garments.
Every piece of fur is different; you will never find two identical garments. They continue to be made by hand using craftsmanship and manufacturing skills that are passed down through the generations.
It is a durable, natural and sustainable material. Fur is without doubt the oldest fabric known to man and is one of nature’s most enduring products. So why choose fur? It comes from sustainable sources – nowadays the majority of fur is from Specialty Farms and around 15% is from abundant Wild Populations.
Whether you choose to eat meat, eggs or dairy produce, use medicines tested on animals or wear leather, fur, silk or wool you will want to be assured that animals have been treated humanely. The fur trade invests $ millions in animal welfare research, Certification Programmes and animal husbandry technology in addition to supporting local, regional, national and international animal welfare legislation.
The fur trade believes in your right to choose for yourself – read IFF CEO Mark Oaten’s blog on the Huffington Post about Freedom of Choice.
FUR IS BEAUTIFUL
The clichéd image of an older woman wearing a full-on traditional mink coat is nowadays a rarity. Although this is still the fashion in certain circles, the fur being seen on the catwalks shows the material in a very different light. New techniques see fur being mixed with other materials such as leather, silk and wool, being cut, woven, and knitted, being dyed incredibly bright colours – the possibilities with fur are endless. There has also been a rise in more lightweight and wearable pieces – fur trims and accessories are growing more popular and are an easy way for those with limited funds to add some fur to their wardrobe.
And fur fashion is not just for the females. Designers are sending men down runways in a wide range of fur styles: everything from the modern bomber with fur to fur lapels on a range of garments – both highly wearable – as well as fur manbags and double-breasted reefer jackets in fur/fabric combinations.
Fur is far from being out-dated – it is contemporary, cutting edge, versatile and is being worn more than ever before. This could be why so many designers are adding fur to their collections – with an estimated 73% of A/W 2015/16 shows at the four major fashion weeks showing fur.
Video by Saga Furs.
FUR IS NATURAL
Fur is a natural, renewable resource. It is the oldest material known to man, and was all that kept our ancestors alive through the freezing winters thousands of years ago. Nowadays, it continues to be popular as both a way to keep warm and as a style and fashion statement around the world.
Fur can be sourced in two ways: by farming or by trapping. Specialty fur farms raise domesticated animals, which are cared for under strict Codes of Practice and optimal animal welfare regulations. Furthermore, farmed fur animals are fed from the waste and by-products of other farming industries, preventing this waste from being disposed of into the environment. Animals that are farmed include mink, fox, chinchilla and rex rabbit. Trapping, or ‘wild fur’, is only permitted for abundant species, and is commonly used for wildlife management. Both methods are constantly being improved to achieve optimum animal welfare and environmental practices.
Fur garments continue to be made by hand using craftsmanship and require manufacturing skills, which are often passed down through the generations. If you are interested in learning how to work with fur, please visit our skills and careers page.
FUR IS ETHICAL
For the IFF and all members of the international fur industry, animal welfare is a top priority. Over recent years, the industry has become increasingly transparent. Many countries operate an open farm policy, inviting members of the public to visit farms to see for themselves the welfare standards in place.
For any further questions about our animal welfare policies and practices, please get in touch at [email protected].
Real fur is also a great choice if you’re being conscious of the environment. Hunting and trapping wild fur-bearing animals have little impact on the environment and in fact strict quotas are set by government or state conservationists to sustain populations at levels for the optimum health of the eco system. At the same time, the IFF is a voting member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which looks after the best interests of nature and supports the fur industry’s “sustainable use of abundant species”.
In addition, the environmental impact of natural fur compared to artificial fur is much smaller, as shown by this study by DSS Management Consultants Inc. The fur industry also creates a lot of employment around the world, keeping over 1 million people in skilled jobs.
Whether you choose to eat meat, eggs or dairy produce, use medicines tested on animals or wear leather, fur, silk or wool you will want to be assured that animals have been treated humanely. The fur trade invests $millions in animal welfare research, certification programmes and animal husbandry technology in addition to supporting local, regional, national and international animal welfare legislation.