Feb 18, 2020
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Global Brands Group axes fur, IFF reacts to rising tide of negative sentiment with new strategy

Feb 18, 2020

Peta may have halted its I’d rather go naked than wear fur campaign, but two news stories from opposite ends of the fur debate this week have shown that both the fur industry and those opposed to it are still extremely active.

Brands are increasingly moving away from using fur

On Tuesday, Hong Kong-based Global Brands Group said that following discussions with Peta US, it has committed to a ban on fur in its own luxury brand Aquatalia, and will no longer use fur in any products for brands it licenses, such as Calvin Klein and AllSaints.

Peta director Elisa Allen said the "compassionate and business-savvy decision to ban fur, shows that the future of fashion is vegan.”

GBG previously banned angora wool and ostrich skin and feathers after talks with Peta.

Meanwhile, a day earlier the global fur industry, via the International Fur Federation (IFF), recognised the issues it faces and unveiled a “global sustainability strategy” called Natural Fur that includes commitments on “animal welfare, environment and people”.

Expanding on this, IFF said it will launch “ambitious programs and a clear direction of travel for the industry and wider supply chain around animal welfare, environmental protection and for the people and communities that work in the sector as part of its first sustainability strategy”.

The new strategy was launched at an event at the Danish Embassy in London on Monday.

IFF chief executive Mark Oaten said the strategy will set out a framework and future ambitions for the fur sector, based around the UN’s sustainable development goals, and will consist of ground-breaking global initiatives, targeted interventions and clear goals that will move the industry to becoming truly sustainable”.

He added: "Fur is one of the most sustainable natural materials, the epitome of ‘slow fashion’, and is an industry worth an estimated $30 billion per year that employs hundreds of thousands across the globe. All of those involved in the sector and wider supply chain have a role to play in helping to meet and deliver these ambitious goals and this strategy will help them to do that.”

Initiatives this year will include will include the launch of a Furmark global welfare certification and traceability scheme that “will incorporate a range of species-specific farm-raised and wild fur programs providing consumers visibility and transparency”.

It will also seek to “bring other fur bearing species and country specific programs into Furmark by 2025 as the respective science-based, certification standards are implemented and independently assessed”.

There are also plans around the industry’s carbon footprint, control of chemicals use in the dressing and dying process, more re-use, upcycling and recycling of natural fur, and efforts to support workers in the sector.

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