There’s no way around it. The fur industry is nothing short of cruel. With so many innovative options available today, there is no reason to continue slaughtering beautiful creatures for their fur. Many companies have accepted this truth. The hope is that eventually, every company will embrace a fur-free philosophy.
Dolce and Gabanna is the latest company to join the ever-growing list of fashion companies that have rejected fur. With the help and encouragement of the Fur Free Alliance, hundreds of fashion designers and companies have embraced fur-free materials instead of cruel animal products.
FUR FREE ALLIANCE
The Fur Free Alliance is a coalition of more than 50 animal protection agencies worldwide. Organizations spanning 35 countries collaborate to end fur farming and fur trapping—members of the FFA focus on three vital priority areas: political, corporate, and consumer.
The political level focuses on expanding national fur production bans decreasing the supply.
The corporate level aims to decrease demand with its fur-free retailer program and corporate campaigns. Currently, there are well over 1500 companies listed on the fur-free retailers’ website, making it easier than ever to make informed purchase decisions.
The consumer-level works to build the public’s opposition to buying and wearing fur. It also encourages politicians to outlaw fur farming. The focus is on raising awareness of the severe animal welfare issues of fur farming and trapping.
Companies who wish to be a part of the fur-free retailers’ program must commit in writing to no longer sell fur or fur-related items. If they begin to sell fur again, they will be contacted and removed from the list until they commit to becoming fur-free again.
WHY FUR FREE?
Animals find themselves victims of the fur industry in two significant ways: farming and trapping.
Over 95 percent of fur sold worldwide comes from farmed animals. The farmed animals include minks, foxes, rabbits, chinchillas, raccoon dogs, and others; around 100 million per year. Even domesticated cats and dogs fall victim to the fur industry in some countries. These unfortunate souls live out their short, miserable lives in tiny battery cages stacked on top of each other. These breeds are usually wild animals who are in no way domesticated.
Hunters capture wild animals in a variety of terrifying, painful traps. The “lucky” ones die instantly. Others struggle and suffer until they either die or the trapper finds them. Trapped animals will attempt to chew their leg off to escape. Hunters beat baby seals to death with clubs. At the same time, others shoot coyotes from helicopters. None of these methods could ever be considered humane.
Farmers or hunters will try to kill these animals in ways that do not damage their valuable pelt. The smaller ones are crammed into tiny, airtight boxes and gassed. However, this does not kill every one because some are semi-aquatic and therefore physiologically evolved to hold their breath. Some animals will be electrocuted vaginally or anally. Some are electrocuted through the mouth and anus simultaneously. Those who survive these horrific treatments have a very high probability of being skinned alive.
No coat or accessory is worth this type of suffering and death.
So, what is Eco-friendly faux fur? Faux fur is a more ecological choice when made with sustainable materials, and that is the case with more and more companies. Many use recycled or all-natural materials to create that soft, furry feel without harming animals.
Designer Tiziano Guardini creates unique plant-based furs by experimenting with materials like hemp, straw, and pine needles.
Ksenia Schnaider makes her faux fur from recycled denim.
Australian-based Unreal Fur creates Eco-friendly fur fibers using hemp and recycled water bottles.
Spirit Hoods uses stuffed-toy style fake fur instead of real fur.
Ecopel is probably the biggest producer of faux-fur, and many designers utilize the brand. Ecopel keeps plastic bottles out of landfills by turning them into soft, fluffy fabrics.
MORE WORK TO BE DONE
The Fur Free Alliance has made great strides on behalf of animal welfare. However, this does not mean that our work toward a better, safer world for all animals is complete. The Fur Free Retailers program focuses only on animals farmed explicitly for fur. Materials such as leather and wool do not fall under the fur definition. Wool and leather are considered a by-product of the food industry because, in contrast to animals in the fur industry, these animals are primarily raised for food.
Supply chains are complicated, so it is challenging, if not impossible, to trace every single item back to its origins. Read your labels and only purchase items free from any animal-derived materials.