From London Fashion Week going fur-free for the first time ever to luxury brands like Versace, Burberry, and Chanel ending the use of real fur in their products — 2018 was certainly a record year for fashion’s anti-fur movement.
Fur was noticeably absent on LFW’s runway.
Last year also saw an increase in anti-fur legislation as San Francisco became the first major U.S. city to ban fur, with Los Angeles city following suit shortly thereafter.
While major fashion brands have begun using faux fur made from synthetic materials (many of which are derived from petroleum) to mimic the look and feel of real furs and save real animals’ lives, critics argue faux fur isn’t sustainable and claim that it’s killing the environment.
Another major snag in the fake fur dilemma is the fact that faux fur products may actually contain real animal fur. The stark reality is brands aren’t really sure who is making their clothes, and as they pressure factories to churn out pieces quickly and cheaply, suppliers have turned to real fur in an attempt to cut costs. Due to loopholes and ill-enforced regulation, the labeling of materials present in “faux furs” isn’t exactly kosher.
Thankfully, cruelty-free designers have realized faux fur and sustainable are not mutually exclusive and have begun mindfully creating eco-friendly fake fur wares sans fur-bearing animal skins. Here are three sustainable faux fur alternatives largely made of all-natural or recycled materials that won’t kill the planet — and they’re just in time for winter!
Ksenia Schnaider’s Denim Fur Jacket in Dark Blue
One of the most popular textiles in the world, denim is a material made from 100 percent cotton. Although some textile manufacturers are beginning to produce denim in a more sustainable manner, the average pair of high waisted jeans was most likely made using an abundant amount of water (around 1,800 gallons to be exact), pesticides, toxic dyes — not to mention the unfair labor practices often associated with cotton production. In order to help curb this issue, designer husband-and-wife duo Anton and Ksenia Schnaider of Ukranian sustainable fashion label Ksenia Schnaider use recycled denim and certified organic cotton to create statement making denim fur coats perfect for *any* occasion.
Around 8 million tons of plastic wind up in oceans and landfills each year — 91 percent of which is not recycled. Clothing is a major culprit as 63 percent is made from the ubiquitous material, much of which by way of the fast fashion industry. Enter Ecopel, a global faux fur textile manufacturer that has created a new faux fur material from recycled plastic bottles. The vibrant pieces add a wonderful pop of color to any look — and for those worried about the plastic found in clothing winding up in waterways thanks to washing machines, try washing the coats less frequently or use these green DIY alternative “dry cleaning” tricks. As a last resort, you can visit a green dry cleaner.
HoodLamb’s Ivory Hemp-Based Fur Vest
Hemp is incredibly versatile. Along with having numerous health benefits, the non-psychoactive variety of the Cannabis sativa L. plant (which contains less than 1 percent THC — the mind altering chemical found in marijuana) is a terrific replacement for unsustainable materials like plastic and cotton. Because of its usefulness in the textile industry, hemp has also become a staple in the lines of many a fashion designer. More notably, it’s a suitable fabric of choice for animal-derived fur alternatives. In the fall of 2017, HoodLamb, an Amsterdam-based brand creating vegan outerwear, debuted its hemp-based, down-free Nordic parkas in the United States — allowing you to slay winter in style without causing harm to the earth or its furry inhabitants.
Do you rock sustainable faux fur?
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Photo: London Fashion Week via Instagram, Respective Brands