Real fur is used in a variety of products like coats, throws, blankets, rugs, shawls, scarves, and coat trim to name a few. Though there is still some debate on faux fur vs. real fur, let’s dive into the fur industry as a whole and where it is headed!
The Value of Real Fur
The genuine fur (aka real fur) market is under threat for the first time in history, which is a tremendous win for animal rights activists and supporters. In 2019, the real fur market was valued at 22 billion dollars, down 45% from its 40 billion dollars in 2015 according to the International Fur Federation (a trade group).
The Anti-Fur Movement
The cultural backlash from anti-fur campaigns across the globe has been a tremendous success in the movement towards humane, faux fur products in the market. It has driven major players in fashion to reconsider using real fur. Brands like Gucci, Versace, Canada Goose, Burberry, Prada, Kering group, and many others are now committed to going fur- free.
In addition to the power of the people banding together to stop the violent murder and treatment of animals in the name of fashion, we saw major Covid-19 outbreaks on mink farms that governments around the world were concerned about.
To curb the spread of the virus, Denmark's Government effectively ended the country’s mink-fur farming industry, and animal rights activists ramped up awareness campaigns to further the movement towards real change.
With one fell swoop, Denmark helped decimate some of the world's highest-calibre fur markets. Though we feel for the many who may have lost their jobs, the inhumane, unethical treatment, and murder of millions of beautiful animals is a gruesome and toxic business that has to end.
As a result, the Kopenhagen Fur auction house (the largest in the world), is preparing to shut down by 2023. For those of us who have fought to end the fur trade, this is a major victory!
The Future of Fur in Fashion
Photo by Gilberto Reyes
“The integrity of the product supply chain has now become a public health matter and a moral issue, which makes the future of the fur industry very uncertain,” - Irina Ivanilova, luxury and fashion consultant at Euromonitor International.
Ireland is on the precipice of becoming the 15th country in the EU to ban fur farming. We are all in high hopes that Ireland will stay committed to its planned phase-out. The Netherlands has changed its original phase-out date for fur farming from 2024 to this year, Israel has outright banned fur sales, and the UK is exploring a similar proposition.
This means that the majority of coats, throws, and typically fur laden products in major retail stores in the US and EU will be looking to promote more ethical and humanely derived garments from the usual big brands.
The Fur Industry is Fighting Back
Of course, this doesn't mean that this enormous and heinous industry is going to just let go of a still thriving $22 billion dollar industry. They will fight. The fur industry is utilizing Instagram influencers like Bryanboy to promote real fur and give it relevance in today's world of fashion. In addition, auction houses once only connecting retail buyers to fur farmers are now considering opening a Direct-to-Consumer model.
The Influencer campaign they have been utilizing is primarily for fur markets outside of China, as China is still a major consumer of real fur by billions of dollars. They are also employing strategies to mitigate the efforts of faux fur manufacturers and brands by claiming that fake fur is harmful to the environment, aka smear campaigns with bits of truth.
Call to Action
Nicole Navarro of Pawsitive Beginnings promoting animal rights with some of the SpiritHoods team.
In the end, we believe now is the time to strike, protest more, and be a louder voice for the animals. Vote with your dollars and unite towards a mutually beneficial goal of ending fur farming for good.
On top of being disease infested, it’s an atrocious fashion practice that is becoming obsolete in every way imaginable. Slowly but surely we will be victorious in our efforts to rid the fashion industry of unsafe practices, so congrats to all of us animal lovers!
-Latif Hamilton, SpiritHoods Founding Partner & CEO