Real furs are among the most resilient textiles in the industry, able to last for decades. Garments made from real fur are often very stylish and can be redesigned around the latest trends in fashion. Aside from durability, real fur is also environmentally friendly because it’s biodegradable, never adding to the wastes in landfills when discarded. Conversely, similar synthetic garments made from petroleum are not as ecological and do not last as long as genuine furs.
As a natural, warm, and versatile material with a low ecological burden, real fur far outpaces plastic-based artificial fur. Lots of vegan-friendly fashions produce thousands of synthetic fibers that can harm ocean species. For instance, polyester fleece jackets can produce as much as two grams of microfibers per wash that leaks into water supplies and back to the ocean, where it can threaten marine life before circling back to humans. In total, upwards of 700,000 plastic fibers can be released every washing cycle, and these are not being filtered out effectively.
Demand for fur is continually growing in the textile industry, and consumers only want it if it is obtained ethically. People today are buying fur more frequently than in previous years, and this has largely been attributed to fur companies that hold themselves to ethical standards.
As we all try to remain mindful of how our lifestyles affect the Earth, choosing real fur supports sustainability. Similar to suede, leather, and shearling, ethically-sourced fur is one of many of nature’s gifts.
Respect For Animals
Farmed furbearers are being cared for effectively. They are kept safe from predators and extreme weather and have access to healthy, nutritious food and clean water.
Strict bio security protocols are followed to protect livestock from diseases that may come from outside of the fur farm. If a truck is entering the property to deliver food, for example, the tires must be disinfected by passing through an antiseptic bath before entering the farmyard. Visitors are mandated to wear sterile jumpsuits and boot covers.
Animals in fur farms are housed to help them adapt to farm life while still keeping their natural behaviors. For example, wild mink are known to travel long distances to look for food, and many will not survive as long as those on the farm if they will not eat. After food hunting, they’ll spend most of their time, 70-80%, in small, underground dens to feel safe and secure. On the farm, mink are given nest boxes in lieu of concealed dens. Larger pens are also provided for play time. Mink that are taken care of on fur farms are pampered in a healthy habitat. This helps preserve their pelts to ensure high quality. Happy, healthy animals produce a better product, and that is true whether you are farming for pelts, meat, manure, or any other animal products.
In this setting, most animals produce more offspring than nature can support to maturity. These young animals die of hunger and disease out in the wild, or they can fall prey to predators. To promote “sustainable use,” conservationists suggest your use part of this surplus, as it will not have a major effect in the wildlife populations. The fur trade (and other wildlife use) likewise provides financial aid to help protect animals’ natural habitats. Even without a market for furs, trapping would still help control the spread of disease (like rabies), secure property, and maintain a balance within the ecosystem. Trappers with sustainable practices are practicing environmentalists.
Respect For Nature
The North American fur trade, including fur processing, is well regulated to help protect the environment.
Fur farming always follows the agricultural production cycle to produce little to no waste. Farmed mink and fox have many roles in the farm ecosystem. They eat leftovers from the parts of other meats like pigs and chicken that people don’t eat. The manure, bedding, and carcasses are composted and recycled as organic fertilizer that replenishes the soil and promotes the growth of vegetation.
Cheap, mass-produced clothing has a high ecological cost. On the other hand, natural, recyclable fur, which has a longer shelf life, can be repurposed into many things, such as throw pillows or new clothing. No matter the purpose, genuine fur can last for generations, and when it is finally time to retire a piece, you can rest easy knowing it is biodegradable, which keeps it out of the landfills!
Fur is an excellent choice if you care about nature. The furs we use are never sourced from endangered species. Apparel is long-lasting, which makes it more ecological than what you’ll find in today’s trendy but cheap and disposable fashion. These products are made from tons of non-biodegradable synthetics that will eventually pile up in landfills but never decompose. Many people think that synthetics can replace fur; the unfortunate truth is that you are trading a renewable resource for one that is non-renewable. Their production and disposal pose environmental risks.
The fur trade has a more elaborate certification system. In fact, the animal welfare standards for fur farming are stricter than the ones you’ll find in the meat industry.
Trappers cannot get their license until they have taken special courses to learn the most up-to-date and humane methods.
The Saga Certification system, which has been in place since 2005, is a unique farm management system that helps to produce the highest level of animal welfare.
The main criteria to qualify for Saga Certification includes advanced animal well-being and health, conditions for rearing animals, farm hygiene, breeding conditions, environmental management, food maintenance, and record keeping. The certification has over 60 criteria and is valid for three years at a time and then requires a re-audit.
All products are either grown on the farm or was imported from another country that has strict regulations for product sustainability. These are labelled accordingly to show the place of origin. Most products are often bought in auctions, including Saga Furs, Blackglama, American Legend, Kopenhagen Fur Auction House, and North American Fur Auction (NAFA).
Blackglama uses serial numbers only viewable under a UV light to verify authenticity. These are inscribed on the label, sewn into every garment, and searchable on their website.
Using RFID tagging technology, Saga Furs allows consumers to follow the skin all the way to the completed product. Perhaps in the future, a buyer will also be able to scan the tag using their phones for complete transparency.
NAFA provides origins-assured labels to give customers an idea where each garment comes from.