Is fur natural ? not so much

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Is fur natural ? not so much

Last week many reactions occurred regarding GUCCI’s decision to become fur free. Although most of them were positive praising a decision which can help the fashion industry to reduce dramatically its use of animals, members of the fur industry issued negative statements on their websites rehashing the same usual motto : real fur is a natural product and lasts a lifetime - unlike faux fur.

Let’s dig a bit deeper and examine what "natural" means and if this adjective can be used to describe that mass-produced textile that is fur.

According to the OXFORD dictionary, Natural applies for something

Having had a minimum of processing or preservative treatment

For a fabric the definition reads

Having a colour characteristic of the unbleached and undyed state and have to be produced in accordance with the nature.

It is pretty clear fur doesn’t correspond to the official definition of natural.

85% of furs produced today come from factory farms, the least natural living condition for animals.

Fur dressing

Furs are processed with various hazardous chemicals.

2 years ago the scientists from the Bremer laboratory, renowned for their expertise, analyzed several fur samples selected from famous fashion brands.

Disturbing results

All samples were found to be loaded with chemicals such as formaldehyde and nonylphenol

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Those chemicals are manufactured by the petrochemical industry. 

Let’s recall we are talking about a huge production (100 000 000 / 150 000 000 furs per year) we are not talking about an artisanal production with a limited use of chemicals.

The chemicals components used for the fur dressing are volatile components (unlike faux fur).They put human health at risk.

Fur, as a finished product available on the market, has been transformed numerous times. It is often bleached or dyed with other type of chemicals as you can see in the image below showing a selection of green, pink and blue mink furs, far from looking natural.

Natural ? blue mink, green mink, pink mink. Those pelts originated from factory farms were dyed with chemicals.

Natural ? blue mink, green mink, pink mink. Those pelts originated from factory farms were dyed with chemicals.

In view of these elements, it is hard to give credit to the assumption “fur is natural”.

Regarding the other claim “fur lasts a lifetime”, it is also pretty deconcerting… Synthetic fabrics are known to be robust while animal furs seem to be very fragile if they don’t receive the chemical treatment.

A bizarre and embarrassing experiment conducted by the fur industry (see here) suggests that mink furs, when not treated with chemicals, can rot pretty fastly while faux fur resists the test of time.

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