Think Mamoq !
Last year, a very comprehensive report was published by Mamoq, a platform bringing together 70 labels committed to ethical and sustainable wear. The Sustainable Fashion Blueprint survey made in collaboration with the Cambridge University is extremely well done and offers not only insightful analysis and facts about today’s situation but also interesting keys to reduce our impact on our planet. We picked up the six sustainable business initiatives suggested by Mamoq and made them match with faux fur.
From what it is possible now to what could be done in the future, this piece is made to inspire everybody in the faux fur sector and to provide a valid scenario.
Closing the loop
Apply recycling and circular economy principles. Closing the loop is the main idea behind the concept of circular economy. In the field of synthetics, recycling is already a possibility widely used in the textile sector. But often, recycled fibers made from post consumer plastics will have to be mixed with virgin polyester to maintain the good quality of the fiber. But new types of recycling methods are being developed : we already know that a new way of repeatedly recycle polyester has been discovered by the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) and is being supported by the H&M Foundation. For its part, Ecopel, the leader in luxury faux fur, is currently sourcing a new recycled fibers that have the same quality of fresh polyester. This significant goal would imply that it won’t be necessary to mix it with virgin polyester, thus reducing the demand for it.
Giving back to the society. Giving back to nature. We have been supporting the Furs for Life project for a while. Launched by Panthera, a US non-profit dedicated to preserving the future of wild cats and their landscapes, the idea is simple yet powerful : helping the local religious communities to replace their “Amambatha”, a religious cape made with leopard furs, by synthetic alternatives. As a result, poaching is reduced, local insecurity too and traditions are preserved while animals are protected. In addition to that, it creates a great connection between different communities. Another simple and powerful idea is simply to plant more trees. Trillions of them literally ! New research shows that planting trillions of trees could cancel out an entire decade of CO2 emissions. “Unlike high tech solutions to climate change like carbon capture systems”, researcher Thomas Crowther claims “it is our most powerful weapon”.
Make apparel that will stand the test of time. This one is easy. A luxury faux fur coat can last at least a decade and requires minimum care. This is the opposite of fast fashion. When it becomes older or damaged, a faux fur coat or a throw can be re shaped and transformed in other items like rugs. On a similar note, faux fur is totally in line with the “wash less” trend. A faux fur coat should not be washed in machine, as a result, it is not linked to micro-plastic pollution. It is also important to highlight that unlike a fur coat, faux fur does not need to be kept in an energy wasting cooling system to be protected.
Optimize the use of manpower and natural resources. All faux fur mills have or should have a water cleaning system, just like all textile mills. They should limit their waste or find a correct way to dispose of them. Regarding the waste, we recently conducted an experimentation to create new available energy from the faux fur waste. We also received confirmation from a dutch factory that it is indeed possible to create gas for cars from the faux fur waste. For the designers, they should re-use their scraps from fabric. That’s what the House Of Fluff do. The N.Y based faux fur label repurposes all their scraps left from making the faux fur coats to create fun creatures.
Assess and transform the supply chain. The transition from oil-based to bio-based will happen. It is just a matter of time. The first bio-based faux fur is expected later in the year while an ideal faux fur fiber that would be a mix of vegetal ingredients and recycled pet could technically reduce to zero the use of virgin polyester.
Explore beyond the present by preparing for future technologies. For this last principle, we can not help but think about Furoid a company that we have already interviewed on this blog last year. Furoid is a company dedicated to the development of cell-based fur and wool. In other words : furs grown in labs in a petri dish. This is how revolutionary as it can get and so exciting to think that one day, Gucci might be ordering in-vitro mink fur right from the lab.