The biggest coat trend for Fall/Winter 2019/2020?
Michael Kors, Stella McCartney, Moschino have draped fake fur over their catwalk models. Today, it is more than a trend. The latest fashion must-have turns every head when you walk in the room. Most importantly, it does not harm animals or the environment. Or does it?
Faux fur saves animals cruelly killed for fashion. However, the fashion industry is simultaneously turning a blind eye to the inevitable flaws that accompany the material.
The sad truth is that faux fur isn’t saving the environment, nor the animals that try to thrive in it.
The problem lies in the materials used to make fake furs. Gucci, Burberry, Michael Kors, DVF, and Versace, even the sustainability advocate Stella McCartney, uses acrylic, polyester and nylon to create the look.
Ruth Rosselson, spokeswoman for the consumer magazine In Touch, says: “These synthetic materials are responsible for large-scale factory pollution of our waterways, rivers, canals and even the sea. More than 50 per cent of this country’s emissions into our air of the poisonous “greenhouse” gas nitrous oxide comes from nylon production.”
“As for polyester, it’s made using petrochemicals which are oil-based products. Oil is a natural resource that will one day run out and its use should be controlled today for the sake of tomorrow.”
Various chemicals used to dye polyester are also highly poisonous carcinogens. Putting the factory workers at risk. As the UK magazine, Ethical Consumer states, these are a threat to human health.
As for many consumers, who indulge in fast fashion their fake fur will be thrown away at the end of the season. What happens next? Synthetic fibres made from plastic–are estimated to take between 500 and 1000 years to biodegrade. Such materials are “Buried out of sight, but a few feet under the ground, the chemicals in them can seep out into nearby fields and rivers.” Resulting in ocean life, ingesting these plastic fibres. It’s also a threat to human health as we consume these sea animals.
Is there a solution?
There are ways of reducing environmental impact. Firstly, now exist alternative approaches to making fake fur (such as recycled polyester and vegan leather). However, at the current time, those are costly and time-consuming: two sacrifices the contemporary fashion market is not keen to embrace. The other solution is to purchase the highest quality faux fur coat you can find. Secondly, wear it for as long as possible and give it a second life e.g. through secondhand. While at the same time, hopefully in the future, we’ll see more animal-friendly fur.