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BEST FUR COATS AND THE BRANDS THAT MAKE THEM

August 10, 2021

woman wearing faux fur coat and sunglasses

Fur coats are in—and you need one! Well, technically, they’ve always been in ... but buying a fur coat in 2021 says A LOT about you. Whether you choose to buy real fur or faux fur speaks volumes about your ethics and just how much you care about animal welfare. But besides style and ethics, there are many factors to consider when shopping for the purrrfect fur coat to add to your wardrobe! We’ll go over some of the reasons to choose one over the other—from quality concerns to environmental impact.

WHY DO PEOPLE BUY REAL FUR?

real tiger fur

Supporters of real fur (also referred to as “genuine fur”) claim that real fur offers higher quality.They also argue it is better for the environment than artificial fibers. This might seem plausible on the surface, but as we dig deeper into the subject, we begin to see this claim unravel.

The truth is, genuine fur coats have become pretty frowned upon in popular culture (kind of like driving a gas-guzzler in San Francisco), and for good reason. Killing majestic foxes, minks, or any other wild creature just for a fashionable night out isn't a very heartfelt or considerate thing to do.

Rather than having a reverence for and protecting this beautiful place called Earth, some (unknowingly or unconsciously) choose to destroy it for a quick self-esteem boost. Let that sink in for a second. Vanity is ever-present and can even be an essential aspect of life; however, harming innocent animals solely to feed your vanity is a bizarre practice that must end.

Expressing Yourself in Faux Fur

Don’t get us wrong … we’re all for self-expression. In fact, self-expression is literally a pillar of our company culture. And while self-expression may have been a bit limited in the past, today, you can easily fully express yourself, help save the lives of innocent animals, enjoy exquisite quality and craftsmanship, AND be flyer than ever without harming a soul.

It wasn't always this way, though. To be entirely honest, faux fur used to be second-rate at best. But, thanks to the advancements in technology we have today, faux fur is now arguably better in appearance and texture than real fur (not to mention a long list of other benefits).

In fact, faux fur is so unbelievably high-quality, both iconic fashion houses - like Versace, Gucci, and Prada - and boutique brands - like House of Fluff and Faz not Fur - are all going fur-free.

REAL FUR VS. FAUX FUR: WHICH IS BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND WHY?

When it comes to environmental impact, the truth is that everything has some sort of residual effect. Even Tesla, a brand that's highly regarded for being green, manufactures electric car batteries that impact the environment. Is it the perfect solution? Of course not. Is it a terrible solution? We wouldn't say that either. They are doing a fantastic job at leveraging modern-day technology to bring us a step closer to genuinely carbon-neutral vehicles. And as more technological advancements are made, we're sure they will continue to minimize their environmental footprint further.

Honestly, this is probably one of the most important aspects to consider. We know nothing is perfect, but we want to ask ourselves: are we making progress in the right direction?

Photo courtesy Jo-Anne McArthur

How Are Real Fur Coats Made? 

The making of real fur coats comes at high costs to animals and our environment.Genuine fur is taken from and made with pelt from a real living breathing obviously gorgeous animal. In addition, to preserve the carcass/fur, maintain the luxurious look and feel, and prevent them from biodegrading, genuine fur needs to be heavily treated with chemicals that are harmful to the environment.

All things considered, the 'natural' aspect of genuine fur products is far from natural once you realize just how toxic these chemicals are. Not to mention, farming a zillion animals in cages creates a tremendous amount of toxic waste by-products, which also have an insanely negative impact on the world we live in. Not to mention the spiritual/emotional devastation experienced by the animals, humans, and the earthly ecosystem as a whole.

The Argument Against Faux Fur 

As for faux fur? Well, the most common argument against faux fur claims that due to its make-up of plastics, it contributes to microplastics being washed into our oceans. Technically, this argument is inaccurate, and here's why: Roughly 65% of ALL clothing (underwear, shorts, shirts, sweaters, etc.) are made of some type of plastic—most of which are machine washable. Interestingly enough, it is the process of regular machine washing these garments that actually releases tons of microplastics into the ocean and ultimately harms the environment.

Faux fur, on the other hand, is NOT regularly washed. In fact, it isn’t even advised that you machine wash your faux fur garments, as washing by hand drastically reduces the chance of fibers shedding and damaging the look and feel of your faux fur.

The truth is, no one throws their faux fur coat, or any coat for that matter, into the washer once a week. This is because coats generally do not get as dirty from sweat and body oils to warrant a weekly washing like regular T-shirts do. So coats are typically washed just a few times per year (at most!). And that’s IF you wear it a lot or take it with you on camping trips or to a dusty music festival. And most companies, including us, recommend  green dry cleaning.

So, before you start giving your favorite faux fur the side-eye for supposedly releasing microplastics into the ocean, just realize who the perpetrator is actually your washing machine.

Guppyfriend Washing Bag to the Rescue

Thankfully, there is even a solution for this issue of machine washing garments: order yourself a Guppyfriend Washing Bag! This innovative wash bag helps prevent microplastic fibers from making it past your washing machine and into the ocean. You can use it for clothes made with plastic fibers like polyester or even for faux fur coats (assuming your faux fur coat is machine washable—which most are not). And voila! Just like that, your environmental impact has been reduced. Next question, please.

picture of a laundrymat from the outside through the window

IS GENUINE FUR BETTER QUALITY OR NOT? 

Before we answer this question, let’s take a look at the quality aspects. You should consider a few essentials when evaluating and comparing fur quality.

When comparing real and faux fur quality, consider: 

longevity

look and feel

sustainability

Longevity

First up? Longevity. How long a product will last is essential when you spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a fur coat. Ironically, faux fur should last longer than genuine fur because it is synthetic and won't easily decay like organic mass (aka actual animal pelt/carcass).

Big-ticket items (like fur coats) are not meant to be overly consumed and tossed in the garbage a la fast fashion. Instead, it's a carefully selected fashion accessory meant to last you a loooooong time. 

Look and Feel

The second attribute to consider is the product’s look and feel. With so many technological advancements in faux fur manufacturing, it has become increasingly difficult to spot the difference between faux fur and real fur. You can now find the softest, most luxurious faux fur coats to rival any genuine fur garment - usually at a fraction of the cost and without harming a furry soul. Get the look without the cruelty!

Sustainability

Lastly, we must consider the direction we're heading in. Are we making logical moves towards sustainability, or are we not making any progress at all? Animal cruelty, the use of toxic chemicals, and harvesting animals for their fur will never be humane, eco-friendly, or ethical. Honestly, it’s archaic. But the truth is, to be in harmony with our environment, we simply can’t keep making endless amounts of products that are not derived from sustainable sources. 

woman wearing grey wolf faux fur coatWith technology where it is today, the industry is ripe for even more change, and we see it starting to happen! The same way the combustible engines paved the way for electric vehicles and other carbon-neutral advancements (e.g., nitrogen-powered cars, solar-powered cars, etc.), faux fur lays the groundwork for animal-friendly solutions. It isn't purrrfect, but we’re heading in the right direction. It won't be long until we can create entirely biodegradable and Earth-friendly faux fur products.

In fact, our vendor partners at SpiritHoods have dumped millions of dollars into the research and development of sustainable faux furs. While it's still an ongoing process, we anticipate having more sustainable fur products within the next few years. But, of course, none of this would be possible without the support of the faux fur industry and animal activists everywhere. So, vote with your dollars! Support brands that are doing the right thing and putting us on the right path.

Our Faves for Best Faux Fur Coats 

Finally, we want to share some top-rated brands making faux fur coats today! We have two incredible lists to check out before you begin your faux fur coat shopping. 

Our two helpful lists for noteworthy faux fur shopping include:

the best brands wholly dedicated to faux fur fashion

iconic fashion houses that have made the transition from genuine fur to faux fur

LIST OF BEST BRANDS DEDICATED TO FAUX FUR FASHION:

Dagmar logoshrimps logoMaison Atia logoFAZ logoA.W.A.K.E. Mode logo

  1. House of Fluff LogoHouse Of Fluff - House of Fluffs outerwear is crafted from Earth-friendly materials that still feel and look luxurious. Their coats and jackets range from $450-$1,300.

  2. House of Dagmar - Founded by three sisters, this Swedish brand creates 'animal-friendly fur' by using a gentle trimming technique to shave animals like angora goats and alpaca without harming them. Prices start at $1,500 and go up from there.

  3. Miranda Dunn - Each piece is fully customizable: color, length, and size. Prices start at $550 and go up from there.

  4. Shrimps - This British label by Hannah Welland offers eye-catching faux fur outerwear starting at around $700.

  5. Maison Atia - Traditional fur heritage techniques masterfully applied to faux fur. Prices start around $1,000.

  6. Faz Not Fur - Quality craftsmanship from a small Parisian atelier. Prices start around $600 and go up from there.

  7. a.w.a.k.e. mode - They have some unique vegan patent leather coats with plush fur starting at around $1,400.

LIST OF ICONIC FASHION HOUSES THAT SWITCHED FROM GENUINE FUR TO FAUX FUR:

Calvin Klein LogoCALVIN KLEIN - Gotta give it up for Calvin Klein. It’s been a fur-free advocate since 1994! According to Mr. Klein, “My own reflections on the humane treatment of animals and the fur segment of our business simply did not fit with our corporate philosophy any longer.” Love to see it! Bravo for taking a stand against animal cruelty!

 

GIORGIO ARMANI - “Technological progress made over the years allows us to have valid alternatives at our disposition that render the use of cruel practices unnecessary regarding animals," said Armani. My man! *high 5*

 

STELLA MCCARTNEY - In 2016, Stella, raised vegetarian, stated, “I think that the fashion industry can get away with a lot, and it is getting away with murder. Fur is the most unnecessary thing in the world. Those animals are not eaten; if they try to pretend that the fur industry products are by-products they are not. Those animals are bred to be turned into coats.” A heartbreaking reality, but we’re happy you’re on team faux fur, Stella! <3

 

MICHAEL KORS - As the designer explained, “Due to technological advances in fabrications, we now have the ability to create a luxe aesthetic using non-animal fur.” Get the look without the cruelty!

 

RALPH LAUREN - "Fur has never been an integral part of our design strategy as we had only used it on a limited basis as an accent in some collections. We are publicly announcing this decision because the use of fur has been under review internally, and we feel that the time is right to take this action," said a spokesperson for Polo Ralph Lauren. Heck yeah, Ralph! That’s what we’re talking about! :)

 

TOMMY HILFIGER - Pamela Anderson was quoted by PETA saying, “Since Tommy mostly used fur on collars and cuffs, his decision to go fur-free really puts the spotlight on fur trim, which is one of my biggest pet peeves. People who think ‘it’s just a little fur trim’ need to know that animals suffer tremendously for every piece of fur, and it’s unacceptable to wear any of it. Thanks, Tommy, for sticking up for the animals!

kate spade NY logo

KATE SPADE - Kate was a strong supporter of animal rights who was loved by many, including the good folks at PETA who had this to say about the late, great designer, "Kate Spade went fur-free decades ago and just recently banned angora wool after seeing PETA’s exposé of cruelty to rabbits. Her designs featured ever-more chic bags made with straw, cork, and other sustainable vegan materials." Thank you for paving the way and helping this new generation of designers understand that real fur has no place in modern-day fashion! <3

 

HUGO BOSS - A German luxury fashion house spokesman said, "For many years Hugo Boss has continuously decreased the use of fur and subsequently, only a very small share was left in the last collections. The last rabbit fur used was for select pieces only (trims on hoods and on sleeves, for example), which we have now completely dropped.

 

VERSACE - “Fur? I am out of that. I don’t want to kill animals to make fashion. It doesn’t feel right,” Donatella Versace told Luke Leitch in an interview for The Economist’s 1843 magazine.

 

FURLA - Alberto Camerlengo, CEO of the Furla Group, said, "The decision to progressively ban the use of animal fur from the collections is a project that confirms the brand's growing interest in the environment, with special attention to animals, a sensitive theme for Furla … Moreover, this decision responds to increasing demand of ethical products from a consumer who is increasingly aware and attentive to these issues." Just goes to show—voting with your dollars WORKS! Support brands that align with your beliefs, and it will make a difference!

 

LACOSTE - In 2014, the company stated, “[W]e can confirm that Lacoste has no plan to use angora fibers in its coming collections.” A brilliant step in the right direction!

 

GUCCI - "Technology is now available, that means you don't need to use fur. The alternatives are luxurious. There is just no need," said Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri. Uhh, hell yeah, Gucci gang!

 

THE KOOPLES - Nicolas Dreyfus, The Kooples Executive Director, said, "We are extremely concerned by animal suffering and … we've made the decision to stop the use of all fur in any future collections … We had already made the choice to stop the use of angora in all our collections and in all countries, which was thanks to PETA's courage and wisdom in helping us understand the cruel treatment inflicted on animals of which we were not aware." Knowledge is power, and we’re so grateful The Kooples brand was receptive to the heartbreaking realities PETA shared with them.

 

TOM FORD - “I’ve been vegan for about the last year … When you look at how most of our meat, our animal products, are raised, from a health standpoint, I didn’t feel that I should eat those things anymore,” said Ford after watching the film “What the Health.”

 

VIVIENNE WESTWOOD - Dame Vivienne Westwood decided to join the growing list of designers going fur-free in 2007 after meeting with members of PETA Europe and learning about the suffering of animals raised and trapped for fur. Westwood’s very last fur products were eight rabbit-fur handbags which were given to PETA Europe to be donated to a wildlife sanctuary. Apparently, the bags were then used to comfort orphaned baby animals. That’s amazing!! :)

 

prada logo

PRADA - “The Prada Group is committed to innovation and social responsibility, and our fur-free policy—reached following a positive dialogue with the Fur Free Alliance, in particular with LAV and the Humane Society of the United States—is an extension of that engagement,” said Miuccia Prada. “Focusing on innovative materials will allow the company to explore new boundaries of creative design while meeting the demand for ethical products.” Much love to Prada for being receptive to customer demands! VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLARS! <3

MAISON MARGIELA - In 2018, John Galliano, Maison Margiela’s Creative Director, said, “[The real luxury today] is authenticity and inventiveness … You can be outrageous and fun without fur! Come and party with us; you’ll see!” See, John gets it! Now we’re just waiting on that party invite … ;)

 

DKNY - Morris Goldfarb, CEO of DKNY’s parent company, G-III, said, “As we move forward with both Donna Karan and DKNY, we have decided to become fur-free with both brands beginning in fall 2019 … This move follows a long-standing relationship with The Humane Society of the United States.”

 

COACH - "The decision to go fur-free is a truly meaningful milestone for the brand,” Joshua Schulman, president and CEO of Coach, said in a statement in 2018, noting that the move was in line with corporate responsibility markers Coach established three years prior.

 

JEAN PAUL GAULTIER - JPG announced his decision to ban fur from his collections live on French television, where he claimed that the way animals are killed for their fur was “absolutely deplorable.”

 

What is the SpiritHoods Commitment?

Since 2009, SpiritHoods has been 100% committed to donating 10% of net profits back to saving endangered animals. As always, we continue to be the voice for our fur friends and push for a #FurFree world. Our entire fur-free collection of animal-inspired products embraces our love and dedication to all animals, fashion-forward puuurrrfection, and affordable prices. 

While we are pretty biased and think the world of our faux fur products, we promise to love you for any faux fur brand you support!



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