The Truth Behind Faux Fur
In the past year, fashion brands such as Gucci, Burberry, Tom Ford and many more have all committed to being fur free. However, rather completely culling fur, many of them are simply switching to elegant faux options. Although this may help protect the planets furry little friends, research has shown that the cheaper alternative is worse for our environment. After delving into the research, we don’t support either sartorial methods, but we’ll let you form your own opinion on this objective piece.
Herbivore vs Carnivore
Pro-faux campaigners formulated a study that showed producing one kilogram of mink fur has a higher negative environmental impact than producing one kilogram of other textiles in 17 of the 18 environmental categories, including climate change, eutrophication, and toxic emissions. However, the study also prevailed this was the result of the incredible meat-based diet minks require. When compared to a herbivores fur production, faux fur was environmentally worse.
Is it Biodegradable?
Real fur, due to its organic nature, will always (eventually) biodegrade. However, faux fur-made from acrylic or polyester -is essentially plastic spun into a thread and could take hundreds, if not thousands of years to biodegrade. The fashion industry has already been scrutinised for the damage synthetic fibres has had on our oceans, so this may be one big reason to stay away from faux fur too.
A study found that 8% of all global emissions are attributed to the fashion industry alone. When Quantis and ClimateWorks investigated this further, they found “furs and exotic leathers were not included in the study due to their minor mass flows, correlated with the resource investment required to access corresponding data.” In other words, researching fur’s environmental impact on climate change simply wasn’t worth their time.
Fashion is all about sustainability right now. With that in mind, a study found that a real minks fur coat is typically kept for around 30 years compared to a faux fur coat being kept for a mere six. With that assumption, it highlights that a faux fur coat poses four times more risk of damage to the ecosystem, 2.3 times more risk of adding to climate change, and 2.7 times more risk of impacting resource consumption.