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By International Fur Federation CEO, Mark Oaten Fashion brand Gucci has announced plans to go fur-free from 2018 and will instead be looking into alternatives, including fake plastic fur. Now, I’m the last person to prevent a business or individual from making up their own mind about fur and employing freedom of choice (a stance sadly not shared by the bullies and closed-minded activists of PETA and the like), but I find this move rather mystifying because of the main argument used. Specifically, chief executive...
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IFF CEO Mark Oaten was in China this week holding talks with government customs officials on trying to reduce the luxury goods tariff into china. He also spoke at meetings to launch a new farm welfare standard and discussed the development of luxury branding in China with the jade industry and brand experts.
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"Screaming and yelling animal activists will not stop Michael Kors or his millions of customers from expressing their right to choose what they wear. Freedom of choice is a basic right and I find it shocking that these protestors don’t respect that. Their bullying aggressive and disturbing tactics have no place in a world where there is already too much violence- and certainly not in the fashion world. As Michael Kors said last night "its fashion … life goes on". Current Men’s Fashion weeks in...
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(Press Release: London – 5th of June 2017) Driven by resurgent interest from the catwalk (e.g. London AW 17 catwalks showing fur up 8% year on year) the international fur trade has remained strong despite a predicted slow down in the Chinese luxury sector, new figures reveal. Demand from the fashion and interior design sectors continues to drive fur production in Europe and North America with items made from mink, chinchilla and sable more popular than ever. In 2016 there were over 75 million mink...
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It’s time for a catwalk revolution. But why cats? And why are they walking? I want to see a dogdive. A rhinolunge. The catwalk is worn-down, in need of a good scrub. I’m seeing out-of-season clothes being paraded in the same four cities year-in, year-out. This is the high fashion industry. We’re supposed to be innovators, yet we’re stuck in the past. Why are we so averse to change, and what are we doing to disrupt this vehemently archaic system? Things were looking up in...
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Environmental concerns are increasingly top of mind for every business, despite Donald Trump’s denial of global warming. Leading businesses confirmed their commitment to the cause at Davos a couple of weeks ago when they launched FReSH, the Food Reform for Sustainability and Health program, under the leadership of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the EAT Foundation (EAT). And the fashion industry is no different. As the models sashay down the last of the catwalks at the men’s autumn/winter shows, Kering, owners...
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I THOUGHT I was immune to the increasingly amateur and bizarrely comical PR stunts by PETA as they try to coerce us all into following their obsessive agenda of hate and intolerance. I really did. After all, there's only so many times you can laugh at the same joke. But PETA always manages to tell the same joke in an even dafter way every time they try to climb on the stage. And like a bad musical hall comic, they think if they shout loud...
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I have been recruiting new staff over the last few months and the ice breaking chat has been all about what to wear at an interview. I can see the look of shock when I walk in with jeans and Converse; some of the candidates visibly reach for their tie with a rather nervous tug. As a CEO I guess they expect me to be all suited and formal, but these days more and more “business” is informal and I like it that way. But...
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Mark Oaten, CEO of International Fur Federation writes for the Huffington Post One of the arguments most beloved of the anti-fur lobby is that faux fur is actually better for the environment than the real thing.  That argument, however, is as fake as the apparel it supports. And some new research has thrown the whole issue around man-made fibres more generally into the limelight. Specifically, researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara have found that, on average, synthetic fleece jackets release 1.7 grams...
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London, 16th of June 2016 – Data unveiled today shows that 2015 was yet another successful year for the global fur sector – thanks to the continuing demand from fashion and interiors brands for mink, fox, chinchilla and sable among other fur types. In 2015, 71.27 million mink pelts were produced globally with a total value of $3.57bn*. There were also 8.93 million fox pelts with a value of more than $1.17bn*. This information from the International Fur Federation (IFF) shows the global reach of...
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RE: Russian Fur Farming The latest article on the fur trade was, it must be said, a masterful effort in taking my comments completely out of context, stating opinion as fact, getting the most basic details wrong and, of course, referring repeatedly to my past and my private life because that has so, so much relevance to a piece on animal farming in Russia. The thing is, “shocking pictures” will always play well with the audience and bashing the fur industry is so easy. The...
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"I have just arrived back home from my seventh trip to China in the last few years and the place is still something of a mystery to me: meeting officials last week, they told me we could now speak openly with each other as it was our sixth meeting," —said Mark Oaten in CEO Talks for the International Fur Federation. The cultural part of doing business in China is something you never get taught but have to learn the hard way. For example, I now...
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"Every Christmas we're inundated with images of smiling polar bears and Santa and his elves happily putting toys together in his workshop in the Arctic Circle. But these images distract from the truth about the Arctic: it's an incredibly tough environment to actually live in, even more so when unnecessary trade barriers are put up by the uninformed and urbanised elite," said Mark Oaten. Seals are a classic example. Back in the 1970s, Greenpeace all but ended the international trade in sealskin - and as...
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In its 2014 Sustainability Report, fashion brand Hugo Boss said that it was planning to stop using farmed fur in its collections from Autumn/Winter 2016 onwards. According to Bernd Keller at the company, its sustainable corporate strategy should take precedence over the “fast and simple route to success”. Like many companies, it has realised that global consumers are demanding a more sustainable approach to business. I completely agree that sustainability should take precedence over short-term corporate goals and applaud Hugo Boss for thinking that way,...
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The fur industry is regularly accused of skinning animals alive The most recent attack came this weekend online in the Daily Mail - a widely read publication both in the UK and globally. This time I have decided enough is enough and that now is the time to set the record straight. Here is my pledge to the industry and to consumers of fur to whom we have a duty of care: Some people claim that the fur industry is skinning animals alive. Let me be...
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I spotted a great article in the FT recently written by Gillian Tett, discussing the moral dilemma she faced when left a fur coat that had once belonged to her mother. After wresting with her conscience and considering a range of issues including the hypocrisy in a society that attacks the fur industry but is happy to “wear leather, eat factory-farmed meat or buy most types of fast fashion,” Gillian eventually decided that wearing her mother’s coat was “an ecologically positive act.” In response, the FT...
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After a three-month selection process involving 44 delegations worldwide, a shortlist of 12 designers will be invited to the Pelota in Milan for the REMIX 2015 grand finale on 4th March where the final judging will take place based on a runway presentation. Each designer will show three looks that include fur garments and accessories as well as other non-fur items so that fur is seen in a holistic, natural context. Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief at Vogue Italia will act as president of the jury. Serving on...
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Public Morals and Freedom of Choice: A Double Win for Common Sense Several court rulings in the last few weeks suggest those in power might have overstepped the mark when it comes to legislation on fur and the tricky issue of public morality. You can see the societal backdrop to the rulings I talk about below echoed in the recent European elections. It seems voters and national governments have lost faith in the endless new laws flowing from Brussels. They appear jaded with the endless...
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The Seal Ban The World Trade Organisation (WTO) was formed on the principles of free trade and non-discrimination. However, its Dispute Settlement Body recently announced that it is supporting the EU's ban on the commercial trade in seal products, a ban that was set up on the grounds that the legislation served the 'public moral concerns' of a select segment of the EU population. But what is 'public morality', really? The WTO itself doesn't have a definition. The General Agreements on Tariffs & Trade (GATT)...
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On Behalf of the Fur Industry I run a fur trade association. Like most such bodies, we're funded by all the businesses in our industry to act, work and speak on their mutual behalf. And like most such bodies, that means we're sometimes seen as the poor relation living on their scraps. I suppose there is an argument that trade associations are always not as close to the coal face as the companies they represent, but it's also true that they speak for the industry...
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Men's Fur A couple of weeks ago The Independent asked whether men can wear fur while keeping their street cred. The question is a timely one. Anyone who's picked up a fashion magazine in the last couple of weeks will see how this season's catwalks are awash with fur fashions for both men and women. You might not like it, but it's a trend you can't ignore. Designers are sending men down runways in a wide range of fur styles: everything from the modern bomber...
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