How Green is Fur? Synthetics Are Not a Green Alternative

There are a lot of misconceptions about the fur industry, and it’s no secret that we love fur here at A Touch of Luxe. This is the first of many posts that will shed some light on why fur is green.

A pile of Fox pelts, sorted and ready to be made into a coat or other garment.

To start us off,  one of the first fur myths that come to mind is the claim that synthetic fur is a much more sustainable choice. The answer to this depends on what you define as “sustainable”.  Now, we all know where fur comes from and how we obtain it. Some people may not consider killing 30-50 million animals a year (a loose approximation of how many animals are used by the fur industry) sustainable. For one mink coat, about 30-60 mink pelts are used. That sounds like alot, but when you take into account that a mink takes one year to reach age of maturity, and a female mink produces a litter of 4-6 pups, that’s a quickly renewed resource. Can you think of very many other resources that renew in a year? Certainly not petroleum, or even wood.

Image Courtesy of eoearth.org

The petroleum used to make synthetic fur is a non-renewable resource: once we use it all up, that’s it for the next 40 million years. The petroleum doesn’t come out of the ground ready to be spun into faux fur, either. It must undergo many chemical treatments and use large amounts of energy to convert this oil byproduct into a wearable fibre.

A close up of faux fur. Image Courtesy of sharonsews.blogspot.com

Fur, on the other hand, does not require much treatment. Native Americans and Inuit people have been “processing” fur and leather long before the invention of faux fur. Surprisingly, fur treatment, aside from special colour treatment, hasn’t changed much. And fur is going to be around forever, as long as we take care of the environment that these animals can thrive in, and that the animals aren’t over hunted. Organizations like the International Fur Trade Federation, and the Government of Canada, have strict regulations in place to ensure this doesn’t happen.

Michael Kors, classic, relevant fur coats. Image from runwaypicks.com

Another way to interpret sustainability is the longevity of a fur coat vs. a faux fur or other synthetic coat. Fur coats, due to the cost, are usually cut in classic styles that are relevant for years and years. Faux fur, however, can be found in “styles” like this:

Image from etsy.com

No one is going to wear a coat like that for more than a season. And even with a flattering, classic cut, over a few short seasons the faux fur is going to mat and become unwearable (sadly, my knock-off Kate Hudson a la “Almost Famous” coat is a testament to this). However, fur coats have consistently proven to be long lasting, heirloom pieces that get passed down from family member to family member.

Even vegetarians have a hard time turning down a vintage mink coat. Image from the TV series "Friends".

Fur can be worn for generations, and even if the coat becomes un-stylish, it can be taken apart by a skilled furrier and reworked into a new design completely. A fur coat can even be made into a smaller fur piece if portions of the coat are no longer usable.

Let us know what you think about this new addition, and if you have any questions about fur, or maybe your own myths you’ll like to see dispelled, let us know in the comments!

Some great resources to learn even more about the sustainability of fur:

Slate.com Article on the sustainability of fur vs. faux.
A PDF from the government of Tennessee outlining how to treat fur.
Furisgreen.com

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9 thoughts on “How Green is Fur? Synthetics Are Not a Green Alternative

  1. Great post! I’ve actually been a vegetarian for almost 5 years now but I’ve always LOVED fur..I just can’t help it, it’s too amazing! What’s unfortunate is that many people who are proudly anti-fur also eat a lot of meat don’t realize that meat production, at least where I’m from, America, is TERRIBLE for the environment, and they treat the animals like garbage-genetic alterations, antibiotics, close-quarters living..it’s all a bit gross, if you’ve ever seen reports. Also eating a lot of meat is bad for your heart! When I learned about all this, I stopped eating meat. But having done lots of research on fur production, fur sourcing, and sustainability of the industry, I’m proud to wear fur. Support sustainable living… wear fur proudly!
    Love the blog by the way!!

    • Thanks for your comment! A lot of people who are proudly anti-fur know absolutely nothing about the fur industry. Everyone should be forced to see how animals for human consumption are treated, versus animals used for fur. Then they’d be attacking grocery stores, and not furriers. I eat meat, and love it, but mostly buy free-range organic meat, and limit my consumption to once or twice a week.

    • And you think that the fur industrie does not treath the animals badly? are you serious?? I am completly agaisnt fur. and i also have done my research.. it is cruel to kill an animal simply because of its fur, at least when you kiil it for food, its part of the cycle of life. you use all of it and then you can use its fur.. Sure what we do to the meat isnt right. blame the goverment.. but were humans and one day were bound to destroy our planet and the wild life with the way we live… Let me ask you this… do you think it is right for africans to kill rihnos just for there tusk??? If you say yes… you are hopeless… I am also amarican… well actualy i am canadian… I am 19 years old, and i am agaisnt fur and think people who are for it, and materialism and need to get a better education on way of life…

  2. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! For helping to educate the public about the reality of harmful FAUX fur. It is sickening that people are so proud that they are wearing faux fur when it’s the true culprit to harming our planet!
    Thank You!!

    • Yes, for some reason many anti-fur, “animal rights” activists blatantly ignore the number of animals killed as a result of sourcing raw materials for the production of synthetic fibers. Did they miss the news about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill?

  3. There is not anything more natural than fur. I see the many skins, love from all the animals, I like they wear on me or me to have, but dead fur is a beautiful material, which will not miss me.

    • Yes, there are several aspects which represents fur as unique. I also
      love the elegance, the warmth, the ignorance, the exudes a fur. That is
      why I wear furs.

  4. People who wear fur are stupid and immoral. We’re not in survival mode anymore. We can live without it.
    Natives were OBLIGATED to wear it because they were on survival mode. Fur today is loaded with chemicals.
    Real fur requires a LOT of energy to produce.
    Trappers burn tons of gas to gather fur. Alot to process and ship.

    I gather resource from trappers sites NOT ara sites. A lot of people who wear fur has NO IDEA.
    Trapping is 0ne of the most cruel and sadistic bloodsport in history. Trappers are sociopath hermit who obsess on trapping. If you hate trapping that get more offended than bashing at their religions. They live on trapping forums even offseasons. If you hate trapping they will hate what you like cus they hate you. Even stuff that has nothing to do with ARA nor bashing at trapping. I been a victim of it. If you love the tiger they will say they will wipe/wish to wipe the tiger just to upset you. Trappers have ONE agenda and hobby is trapping. They talk about it nonstop and to them non trapping hobby is voodoo/abnormal.
    If you love furries, firework, video games, animals, any non-trapping things they will bash at it because to them is like voodoo / abnormal. Trappers are the most egoistical stereotypical people ever.

    Where do 90 to 100% of the fur trappers gather goes, on what coat it goes on?
    http://zaxtor.net/RFINRB.htm 
    This will prove their hypocrisy. Most modern fur coat are nylon and polyester coats will fur trim / parka from commonly trapped animals. Coyote, foxes, beavers, raccoons etc. I EVEN saw trappers wearing these synthetic coats with real fur trim. Most trappers do NOT wear fur they wear synthetic coats just like normal people .. Hypocrisy at its worst.
    Also some even work at oil field. They’re hardcore conservative and pro-oil and anti-environment.

    Real alternative to fur is wool because sheep doesn’t have to die no chemicals needed to preserve wool because is just like wires, can be sewed together.

    http://zaxtor.net/RF.htm 
    http://zaxtor.net/Trapping.htm Pictures comes from TRAPPERS forums NOT ara sites.
    Will show the truth about real fur and trapping. Also fur farms.
    Fur isn’t green. Wearing fur is just as bad as wearing human skin.
    I don’t wear leather either.

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