The number of brands deciding to switch to man-made materials is growing every season. The list already includes Armani, Versace, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo, Coach, Furla, Gucci, Burberry, Maison Margiela, and more recently, Chanel announced the rejection of natural fur (and exotic leather).
It's not just fashion brands. So, Net-a-Porter and Yoox have been working under the fur free slogan for several years. In September, animal rights advocate PETA bought shares in major online retailer Farfetch, which allows the organization to attend meetings and contribute to the company. As a result, as of December 31, 2019, Farfetch will no longer sell real fur.
There are also more ambitious examples: in Germany, the production of fur clothes is completely prohibited, and Los Angeles has become the largest city in the world where the sale of natural fur coats is illegal. The British Committee for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has come forward with a proposal to ban the sale of natural fur in the UK, where, by the way, fur farms have been banned since 2000.
1) By Malene Birger (TSUM), 46 350 rubles.
2) Essentiel Antwerp (TSUM), RUB 31,800
3) Guess, 18 990 rub. © press service
The main engine of the suite is gradually changing - gloss. American InStyle has been operating in fur free mode since August 2016. With Laura Brown taking over as editor-in-chief, the magazine no longer advertises fur brands or uses fur in filming. For a complete list of natural fur opponents, visit Fashionista. The portal maintains a census, regularly adding new information to it: not only fashion brands, but also retailers, as well as cities, countries and significant events related to the rejection of natural fur are presented here.
Many Russian designers support this trend, preferring to work with alternative materials. “We have long understood that there are other antibiotics besides penicillin, that nutrition and a healthy lifestyle are important. Also with fur - yes, natural fur has saved people for centuries at the cost of animals' lives, but this is a relic of the past and eco-fur is a progressive outlook on things, and not just a desire to save money on winter clothes,”says Tatyana Matyushina, founder of the By Matu brand, which creates fur coats from eco-fur.
1 of 6 Brand By Matu © press service © press service © press service © press service © press service © press service
Designer Katya Dobryakova has been creating eco-coats for several years in a row and, in principle, takes an active part in various environmental initiatives, collaborating with Greenpeace: “I believe that it would be useful for all of us to become more aware and reduce our needs. In any case, to give up what is objectively unnecessary. Switching to alternative types of fur is a very smart idea, and fortunately many brands are supporting it by setting the trend."
1 of 4 Designer Katya Dobryakova © press service © press service © press service © press service
Luda Nikishina is one of the pioneers in the domestic market, the designer has been working with eco-fur since 2015: “I am extremely positive about giving up fur and I believe that wild animals, such as sable and mink, should not be kept in captivity, especially in cruel conditions, in tiny cells, which is completely contrary to their nature. It's even scary to talk about methods of skinning. It's not worth the beauty."
1 of 5 Designer Luda Nikishina © press service © press service © press service © press service
Olga Selivanova, creative director of the Sol brand, has been working with faux fur for the first season and does not treat the global trend as unambiguously as her colleagues in the shop: “I think that the trend is good, but still it is difficult to imagine the complete absence of this category of goods on the market … Perhaps products made from natural fur should be present in the luxury segment. After all, the main problem is the inhumane attitude towards animals. Large corporations follow all the rules and create products that can often be compared to works of art. Any sensitive issue should not be resolved by categorical measures. Our history shows that total prohibition breeds more desire. The high and very high price for natural fur, as well as the availability of choice, such as eco-fur, will put everything in its place."
1 of 2 Brand Sol © press service © press service
In discussions about fur, it is impossible to come to a common denominator. The fillers of down jackets, which animal rights activists often cite as an alternative to a fur coat, are also obtained not by the most ethical method, and it is easy to draw the line between steak, leather shoes and a fur coat only for yourself. In addition, today, more and more often in society, the question is asked: what causes more harm to the environment - natural or artificial fur.
What is the Difference Between
Faux Fur and Eco-Friendly Fur
Synthetic materials such as polyester, acrylic and modacrylic are used in the production of faux fur. And yes, they really don't degrade naturally very much. However, if such an aspect as ecology is important to you, then take things made of faux fur (and other synthetic materials) to garment recycling points.
The second group is eco-fur, which is made from wool of goats and sheep. Fur coats made from such materials do not harm nature, and animals are not killed. However, even here there are pitfalls. For example, grooming is stressful for the animal and is often done in a very barbaric way. Therefore, responsible brands do business only with those farms where the wool is cut in a way that is minimally traumatic for animals. Of course, the price for such a product will be higher.
1) Givenchy (Net-a-Porter), £ 2,980
2) Diane Von Furstenberg (TSUM), 54,850 rubles.
3) Alice + Olivia (TSUM), 49 950 rubles. © press service
“In artificial fur, chemical textile fibers are used for the most part, while in eco-friendly this function is performed by wool, due to which air permeability becomes lower. The method of creation is very similar - three systems of thread are knitted or intertwined on looms, one of which is the appearance of this fur,”explains Tatyana Matyushina. The designer notes that the quality of the wool itself, which comes to the factory, is very important for eco-fur, its purity and the softness of the knitted base, into which the hairs are woven. By Matu also ensures that winter coats have at least 70% wool.
How to choose alternative fur
Firstly, fur coats made of eco- or synthetic fur should not be bought in the mass market. They do not look very advantageous, and they will quickly become unusable, and practically will not protect against the cold. Rather, such products can be worn in positive and calm weather. “High-quality eco-fur is created with the addition of natural fibers, and besides the fact that it turns out to be soft, elastic and durable, products from it breathe without creating a greenhouse effect for the body,” emphasizes Olga Selivanova.
Look for specialist brands that work with eco and faux fur. These include the UK brands Shrimps and Stella McCartney. Beautiful and warm faux leather jackets are offered by the Hungarian brand Nanushka. If bold colors and ostentatious artificiality don't appeal to you, take a look at Fuzz Not Fur, run by Nadia Aksarlis. Almost all fur coats are sewn by hand, and the brand itself has received PETA approval.
Don't look for materials that look like mink, sable and other classic furs. The beauty of alternative fur is that modern materials allow for bold and unusual pieces. “A huge amount of very good, high-quality faux fur has appeared on the market, and therefore it became easier for designers to work: you can order any color and texture, choose two-sided materials, for example, with faux leather inside,” says Katya Dobryakova.
The Luda Nikishina brand uses eco-fur with a high wool content (80-100%). According to the designer, this is a very warm material, which, moreover, does not harm the environment. “We always choose beautiful colors to add variety to our long gray winters, we never try to choose a material that looks like natural fur, the 'artificiality' of fur is its virtue, and we are not trying to hide it,” says Luda Nikishina.
1) Roksanda (Matches Fashion), 122 985 rub.
2) Shrimps (TSUM), 65,050 rubles.
3) Shrimps (TSUM), 65,050 rubles. © press service
There are also technical issues. For example, the chief designer of the Luda Nikishina brand first of all advises to pay attention to the quality of tailoring: “There are many cheap eco-coats that are not sewn neatly, with technology violations visible even to the naked eye - as a result, this already democratic material looks quite modest. Consider the composition of the material: a 100% polyester eco-coat may look cool, but it certainly won't warm you."
Olga Selivanova believes that choosing a product made of eco-fur should be treated in the same way as with any other material: “Good eco-fur is visible immediately, just like good fabric. This is at the level of perception and internal requirements for product quality. I advise you to pinch the product a little, thereby checking the strength of the fur."
And the most important question:
what temperature can the alternative fur withstand?
It all depends directly on the material, as well as on the lining. Ecomech is definitely warmer than artificial. In addition, many local brands that work with eco-fur are ready to offer additional insulation.
“Fur is categorized according to density, pile height and wool content. It is easy to guess that the higher all these indicators, the warmer the fur coat will be. Starting this season, we began to add quilted lining to almost all fur coats, this adds another five degrees. On average, our fur coats are designed for minus 20-25 degrees,”says Tatyana Matyushina.
Lyuda Nikishina notes that with the presence of a heater, her brand's fur coats can be worn all winter, even if you are especially susceptible to cold weather: “I checked it myself: all last winter, for the purity of the experiment, I passed only in an eco-coat - and it was great. Without insulation, it will be comfortable up to minus 15 ". Olya Selivanova calls the same temperature: minus 15 degrees without lining and lower temperatures with an upgrade. Katya Dobryakova honestly warns that sheepskin coats and faux fur coats will not tolerate very severe frosts, but in more gentle conditions they are comfortable and not cold.>