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Fashion

Faux fur is the right fashion choice: just ask Gucci or Versace

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 05 August, 2018, 4:31pm
UPDATED : Monday, 06 August, 2018, 12:12pm

I refer to the article, “Why furrier Yves Salomon dismisses the anti-fur movement that is sweeping fashion” (August 1). As the founder of the Faux Fur Institute, working with some of the top faux fur mills in the world, I was appalled to read about the inaccuracies regarding faux fur and the fur discussion in general.

It is extremely rude to call all the top luxury brands which have decided to switch from real fur to faux “hypocrites”. These brands are making a responsible choice, with the capacity to spare millions of animals. Regardless of leather, silk or shearling: it is a virtuous decision and a game-changing initiative. The production of pelts is very contextualised and not necessarily comparable. Not using mink, foxes, raccoons and other “fur” animals helps the fashion world to reduce its use of animals. This is very positive.

As more and more customers and brands are trying to reduce their use of single-use plastics, or avoiding food with palm oil, they also want to stop supporting factory farming for ethical reasons, and this has to be applauded. Millennials, especially, are often opposed to this intensive farming system. In this context, we believe using faux fur is perfectly in line with what the new generation wants.

Watch: Gucci goes fur-free

Calling top luxury brands which have just switched from real fur to faux “publicity seekers” and claiming fur-free brands are those that “need a voice in the industry and are not necessarily performing well” is clearly out of touch.

Gucci, Chanel or Versace, to name a few names, are among the world’s most successful brands. Chanel, a frequent faux fur user, announced total revenue of more than US$9 billion in 2017, while Gucci declared US$7.1 billion. And do we need to elaborate on Versace’s iconic status?

Faux fur is a very modern fabric that comes in a wide range of textures and colours. It is also an eco-efficient and responsible fabric: not only are faux fur mills not linked to any form of environmental degradation, but their impact on global warming is four to seven times less than that of animal pelts. The intensive farming system used by the real fur industry consists in breeding millions of animals every six months, necessitating the use of feed and water in what remains a hugely energy wasting cycle. It is an ecological absurdity.

Arnaud Brunois, Paris