Faux Fur Is Cruelty-Free, But Is It Helping The Planet?

faux fur

For decades, fur has been considered a high fashion accessory, representing extravagant style and luxury. From supermodels to actors and actresses, this piece of fabric has graced the bodies of famous figures who are lauded for their elegant fashion choice in the media and magazines. 

But apart from being super stylish, fur is also super problematic. Rearing animals in less-than-ideal conditions and killing them to turn them into fashion products? No, thank you. Anyone in their right minds (and hearts) would not want to cover their body with this product as a symbol of luxury and style. 

Of course, you might have heard of faux fur—an ethical alternative to the animal fur that’s obtained through inhumane practices. But, how better is fake fur when it comes to its environmental impact? Can it truly be said to be a suitable replacement for animal fur in fashion? 

That’s exactly what we’re telling you about here. Why is animal fur so problematic, what is faux fur, and is it more sustainable compared to animal fur? Keep reading to get these questions answered in detail.

Animal fur in fashion 

faux fur

Using animal hide for clothing and display purposes is by no means a new concept. Since ancient times, men have hunted and skinned animals to use the hide as both protective gear in cold climates, and also to flaunt it as a symbol of wealth in their homes. 

But those were ancient times. We do not need to depend on animal skin for warmth anymore. And using it to look stylish is not a worthy excuse when it comes at the cost of mistreated animals. We’ve come a long way from the ignorant, primitive society we once used to be. Or, have we

Looking at how the usage of animal fur in fashion is still prevalent, one might think we haven’t developed much from our Neanderthal ways

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Fur Farming

fake fur
Minks caged in a fur farm.

A huge quantity of fur is extracted from a variety of animals to make everything from massive coats to tiny pom-poms. The process of rearing animals to use their hides for creating products for human use is called Fur Farming. Which, surprisingly, is still quite prevalent today. 

China and Europe are home to 95% of the fur traded worldwide. These countries actively practice fur farming, where raccoon dogs, foxes, minks, and many other animals are trapped in tiny cages made of wires. 

In these cages, animals cannot act as per their instincts and take part in biological activities like digging, roaming large territories, swimming, etc. These conditions cause them to develop permanent stress disorders and extreme behaviors like cannibalism and self-mutilation. 

Eventually, they are killed to harvest their hides. This happens through agonizing practices like electrocution and gassing. 

Globally, 7.8 million foxes and 44.4 million minks are killed for fur production. Up to 90 million animals are killed in fur farming. For one fur coat that you’ll see celebrities sporting on the front of magazine covers, 50 minks, 12 foxes, or 150 chinchillas give up their lives. 

To date, there is no global law prohibiting fur farming or rearing and slaughtering animals for fashion. 

However, many countries like Austria, the Czech Republic, Norway, and the United Kingdom have banned fur farming over the past two decades. The country of Israel and the American States of California, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and others, have banned fur sales. Even if we’re far from eliminating animal cruelty for fur production, these actions by the respective countries instill hope for eventual positive change.

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