Faux fur is back on the catwalk. ‘Yes!’ I hear you all cry. Well, maybe not, because it seems faux is now more expensive than the real thing. Why? Well it has a lot to do with the way that we get most of our real fur in the UK, imported from the US, Europe and China where animal rights is severely lacking. It’s relatively cheap to keep an animal in captivity for its fur, the machinery used in the manufacture of faux products quite simply costs more. And it seems everyone is turning a blind eye to what’s behind it.
We may be happy to see faux on the high street but we’ve been here before. Fashion trends are just that. Just because Kim Kardashian is wearing it, it doesn’t mean she’s gone cruelty free. Less than a year ago the sisters were being slammed for the real thing. Next season, it’ll probably all be back to normal.
This in turn has caused a problem. To prevent the price of faux as a base product driving the price of fashion accessories up, manufacturers are simply using real fur instead but keeping the old labels. This means that a lot of high street fashion now being labelled as faux is sporting the real thing. And you can’t go by the price tag.
We’re not just talking about dodgy market stalls here. TK Maxx, Boohoo, House of Fraser and Not On The High Street have all been named as culprits and Amazon and Etsy have also been dragged into the mire. Investigations are ongoing. This isn’t about fur coats though. Pom poms on hats and scarves, key rings and fashion products with small trims are all a part of this problem. And we’ve all seen them.
It also doesn’t help that customers don’t question the label. High street shoppers have no idea how much power they hold over brands. So here’s where they need to step up. Real fur isn’t difficult to tell apart from faux. Here’s a little guide for you if you’re not sure how to use Google. And note the date. This is NOT a new problem.
Using faux fur, as the catwalk is now doing, also raises sustainability questions. A recent article by Mark Oaten, CEO at the International Fur Federation highlights the issues of putting more synthetic products into the environment. An interesting stance. We always think of animal welfare. But what about the environmental implications of more fake fabrics? We would rather have real silk over polyester, wool over synthetic blends. But what about fur? This may seem like a no go consideration. What price an animals life? Faux fur or no fur. But whatever your stance on the fur trade, the sustainability issue is now a serious consideration.