The fur industry ’s sustainable push

04 November of 2017 by

The fur industry’s sustainable push

Is fur sustainable? Kopenhagen Fur is not in doubt; natural materials are, of course, to be preferred. The international fur industry, with Kopenhagen Fur as one of its front runners, is launching a global information campaign with that exact message to eradicate myths, emphasize facts and create a dialogue with consumers as well as the fashion industry’s leading players.

“We live in a time where consumers, businesses and organizations agree that the future must be built on sustainable solutions, but how can it be done best when selecting products and materials? There are many different answers to this question. Fur has never been more prominent in fashion than now, and yet some fashion labels have announced that they no longer want to use fur. They have taken this decision in consideration of sustainability, which we in the industry think is completely misunderstood, as fur is one of the answer to the demands for sustainable materials and resource-friendly fashion. Kopenhagen Fur’s own vision is based on sustainability, so we share the fashion labels’ wish. Therefore we are launching a new and offensive, global initiative, where the fur industry enters into an even closer, fact-based dialogue with the fashion industry, as there is too much misinformation about fur out there. We have not been good enough at informing people about all the great qualities and advantages of wearing fur, and we will now correct this,says Jesper Uggerhøj, CEO at Kopenhagen Fur.

Research-based certifications

Additionally, the fur trade is introducing WelFur, the most ambitious certification of a livestock production to date. WelFur goes even further than the well-known certifications of other animal husbandry, because it measures not only the animals’ housing, but also the animals’ behavior.

CEO Jesper Uggerhøj elaborates:”WelFur is a transparent certification, where consumers and fashion companies get detailed information on the conditions under which the animals are bred. Additionally, we are working on documenting the basis for a certification of the industry’s total environmental impact, and so it is on the basis of this kind of independent research and the fur’s sustainable nature, that we want to enter into a closer dialogue with the fashion industry. We believe that fur is among the answers to many of the challenges of sustainability, which the fashion industry itself works with.

Part of the ambition of a more sustainable Denmark

Fur is one of Denmark’s main export products and nationally, the industry employs approx. 6,000 people directly. The Danish mink farmers are world-leading, a position that the industry has the ambition of strengthening and expanding.

– If, in the longer term, we are to increase our production and create a more sustainable economy in Denmark, we need to ensure the understanding and awareness of the sustainable sides of the fur production. Fur is one of the best examples of circular bio-economy in which we for example use the by-products of the Danish food production as the main ingredients in our mink feed. It reduces food waste. In addition, everything from the mink is used – and the fur products are very long-lasting and can even be recycled, says Jesper Uggerhøj.

 “The consumption of clothes is one of the biggest environmental challenges we are facing. Resource usage in fast fashion is comprehensive, and there is a general agreement that we must adjust the way we consume. Fur is the opposite of fast fashion. A fur coat is slow fashion, because it lasts for many years, it can be remade and it can be passed on to the next generation. A fur coat is a lifelong investment, and it is also a sustainable investment in contrast to, for example, the cheap plastic versions that last a few seasons only to end up as problematic plastic waste. Therefore, we would like the fashion industry to use even more fur,says Jesper Uggerhøj.

Facts: The fur industry and sustainability

* Fodder for the mink is produced, among other things, from residue products from human food production.

* Everything from the mink is used: The fur will of course be used for clothing, while the rest is processed into bioproducts, in icluding biodiesel and fertilizers

* Fur lasts long, up to 40 years, and thus has a long, sustainable life cycle.

* Fur can be reused and remade which is why the time of usage will further increase.

* Fur is biodegradable: when the fur coat is worn out, it becomes part of the organic circuit.

* Extensive research documents the animal welfare, which is now also certified under the designation ‘WelFur’.

* Fur farmers live with and from their animals, and therefore they focus on the wellbeing of their animals.

* The Veterinary and Food Administration controls the animal welfare in livestock productions in Denmark, and the figures show that mink farmers are the best among the major livestock productions.


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