The genuine article

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 31 May, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 31 May, 2009, 12:00am

The culling of wild animals may raise your hackles but one company is making the most of the perceived need to check populations to suit habitats. Faux, which has opened a showroom in Ap Lei Chau, prides itself on handcrafted rugs, throws and homeware made from the hides and furs of animals killed to manage numbers, considered pests or that have died from natural causes.

'Our rugs are made from animals whose hides are by-products,' says Faux director Louis Papachristou, who began the company and was later joined by Hugh Zimmern, the architect behind the restaurants Isola bar + grill, Gaia and Va Bene. Zimmern's touch is evident at the showroom, which boasts a party-length kitchen counter as inviting as its unobstructed view of the East Lamma Channel.

Customers looking for fake items among the naturally beautiful floor decor will quickly discover that the company name was chosen for impact rather than to mock. 'We're Faux, where everything is real,' says Papachristou. 'We're not Real, where everything is faux.'

The company's products, which include designer collections, are made from the skins of animals ranging from possums (considered pests in New Zealand) to kudu and zebra. Faux's alpaca fur products, which will soon include cushions made with Japanese obi (sash) material on one side, come from young animals that die naturally, says Papachristou. 'They would never be killed because their wool is too valuable.'

Particularly appealing are rugs made of hides stitched together to form modern patterns and cowskin patchwork rugs (from HK$4,306 a square metre), which can be made to any size. Also worth checking out are the zebra-skin cushions (some featuring a ridge of protruding hair), which are backed with Thai silk and cost HK$2,600 each.

Faux is at unit 304, Harbour Industrial Centre, 10 Lee Hing Street, Ap Lei Chau, tel: 2851 4040;