There are a lot of prejudices and misconceptions about faux fur. Most of them are being circulated by the fur lobby seeking to confuse the fashion industry and the debate around sustainability and the way textiles are created today. This page aims at breaking down the prejudices about faux fur. Feel free to send your questions using the contact section of this website.
When faux fur is washed tiny particles are released into the water. Is this true ?
Untrue. Faux furs coats are rarely washed and never by machine. It is false symmetry to compare the laundry impacts of an outerwear piece hand-washed once a year at a low temperature with the impact of an everyday garment because they are clearly not the same. "Fashion at the crossroads", a recent report from Greenpeace, highlights that. It is necessary to draw the line. Faux fur is consistent with the “wash less” trend.
Is it true that faux fur means cheap pieces too easily discarded ?
Oversimplification of a global issue. This issue is to be taken seriously but is not inherent to faux fur pieces. The "fast fashion" issue concerns the textile industry as a whole including the real fur industry. In London and in Paris we have found real fur items like key rings or decorative pompoms (mostly raccoon dogs, foxes and rabbit fur) for only few euros which means they can be easily discarded. Global issues need global solutions. A £ 9000 Gucci faux fur coat has nothing to do with fast fashion.
Fur is natural unlike faux fur, right ?
Untrue. Fur might be considered as "natural" only in the sense that it comes from an animal. However the process to acquire the furs from the animals is at the opposite of nature. After the factory farming stage, when animals are housed in battery-cages, a very unnatural condition for them, pelts will have to be tanned and dyed with chemicals manufactured by the petro-chemical industry. From that perspective, the final product is far from natural. Let’s not forget faux fur originates from a natural resource as it is an oil by-product.
Faux Fur takes more than 1000 years to decompose.
Baseless. This claim is a simple extrapolation from the fact that it may take from 500 to 1000 years for plastic bottles thrown in our oceans to decompose to a potential similar reality if a significant quantity of faux fur coats would be left in our oceans. But this reality is not documented simply because faux fur is not plastic bottles. You won't find faux fur coats in our ocean floor nor in landfills because consumers do not throw their faux fur coats away as garbage. Faux fur can be re-used, up-cycled, or given to shelters. The faux fur material is also eligible to the "biogreen" technology, a smart way to transform synthetic waste into a new source of available energy (industrial gaz or fuel).
A real fur coat is biodegradable unlike faux fur, which makes it more eco-friendly.
Untrue. A real fur coat is partially biodegradable, yet it is not litter friendly due to the presence of synthetics components used to process the furs. In addition, consumers do not compost their fur coats which makes this claim inaccurate. In contrast, polyester is totally recyclable and researchers even found a way to recycle it continually in a virtuous circle. Here, faux fur is clearly more eco-friendly than real fur.