COP26: Fur farming is impacting climate change – ACTAsia welcomes three designers going fur free
ACTAsia’s 7th festival held in Chongqing – an up-and-coming city in central China, with a population of 31 million – was the perfect location and occasion for DONSEE10, TUYUE and SIJIA SUDIO to declare their fantastic fur free resolution. Chongqing regularly ranks as having the most significant consumption of fur in China and is one of the fastest-growing urban centres on the planet. However, this ‘city of the future’ is also home to a growing number of progressive, fashion-conscious, and internationally cultured communities demanding more sustainable, environmentally friendly products.
The Environmental Damage caused by fur farming
According to the Fur Free Alliance (https://www.furfreealliance.com): “The production of fur imposes significant adverse impacts on both the environment and human health. Far from being a natural resource, fur production is an intensely toxic and energy-consumptive process, with pelts being dipped in toxic chemical soups and animal waste runoff from fur factory farms polluting soil and waterways. Just as animal agriculture, the keeping of thousands of animals on fur farms has a severe ecological footprint, as it requires land, water, feed, energy and other resources.”
The feed and keeping of the fur farmed animals are the two main contributing factors to impact on climate change. Producing feed for the millions of animals kept for fur comes with a severe ecological footprint.
How much damage to the environment does fur farming cause vs other textiles?
Fur farming directly contributes towards climate change. Quantifying the environmental impact of the mink fur production chain ‘from feed to fur’, a LCA study conducted by CE Delft, states: “The climate change impact of 1 kg fur is at least 5 times higher than the highest scoring textile (wool) – due to the production of animal feed and manure emissions.”
Energy is consumed at every stage of fur production. This is in addition to the energy costs of transporting the animal pelts and finished fur garments around the globe, throughout all the stages of the fur industry – from transporting feed to fur farms, shipping the animal pelts to international auctions and on to dressers, dyers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and finally to the consumer.
Fur coats continue to consume energy after purchase
The consumption of energy for animal fur apparel does not end once the fur coat has been purchased. To keep fur from drying out or oxidizing, the Fur Information Council of America urges fur owners to: “Always store your fur garments in cold storage when you are done wearing them for the season or not using them”. Indeed, many companies offer cold storage for fur coats over the summer season keeping the coats in a specialised vaults kept between 5 and 10 degrees Celsius. With so many storage facilities worldwide the energy consumption continues to impact climate change.
ACTAsia Welcomes DONSEE10, TUYUE and SIJIA SUDIO to the Fur Free Retailers Scheme
During the opening of the Festival, ACTAsia and Gemma Williams, Features Director at Jing Daily, unveiled three upcoming and award-winning young Chinese new designers who have joined the International Fur Free Retailer Network. These designers understand the ethical issues in addition to the environmental impact of fur farming.
FUR FREE RETAILER (https://furfreeretailer.com) is the world’s leading program to connect fur-free companies to consumers seeking ethical goods. The Fur Free Retailer (FFR) list provides consumers with information about a retailer’s fur policy, allowing them to make an informed choice when shopping. The program encourages fashion companies to go fur free to further the spirit of ethical consumerism and sustainability for the planet.
A cutting-edge sustainable brand, founded by Danqi Chen. Danqi, won the
Remy Martin Sustainable Development Creativity Award at the opening of 2021 Shanghai Fashion Week in October. Her design is inspired by viticulture and incorporates the eastern philosophy of the circle of heaven and earth with her unique designs and eco-friendly craftsmanship. Donsee10 commented:
“DONSEE10 is a sustainable and environmentally friendly brand. Sustainable and fur free, is our pursuit through beautiful art and design at the same time, not to harm our natural environment, and to try to use recyclable and biodegradable materials to reduce consumption and waste. There is only one Earth, and it is our home, so we are advised to be “humane” when creating beauty. Sustainable fashion and design can lead the future development of the fashion industry in the future”.
Established in 2008 the brand has always adhered to the principle of not overproducing to avoid negative impacts on the environment and has also long insisted on the efficient use of every inch of fabric. In 2018, TUYUE started to invite its customers to join their campaign ‘making old clothes for new’, re-cutting recycled clothes into pieces and creating new objects or even artworks.
A contemporary sustainable womenswear label that boasts long-lasting garments that prioritises sustainable fabric in addition to celebrating all body types. The brand has gone global, with customers in China and abroad. The designer Sijia Jiang stated that:
“Our brand is committed to abandoning the use of animal furs and insisting on the use of high quality natural raw materials and new environmentally friendly fabrics such as organic cotton, linen, Tencel and recycled polyester. The concept of sustainable fashion and original design should not be incompatible. Our brand encourages more potential consumers to educate themselves about sustainable fashion and consumption”.
These Designers are following in the footsteps of the Global Fashion Giants
Global luxury group, Kering who manages the development of a series of renowned fashion houses – including Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen – declared in September that they will be going fur free across all their 12 brands. https://www.actasia.org/news/global-luxury-brand-kering-has-declared-that-they-will-be-going-fur-free-across-all-brands/. ACTAsia welcomes their support for a global fur free fashion goal and is thrilled to see young and talented Chinese Fashion brands joining the FFR scheme. We hope that this news will inspire more fashion houses to follow their ground breaking fur free footsteps.
The theme at ACTAsia’s Fur Free Festival this year was Compassionate Choices. We are delighted to that compassion is at the heart of these designer’s outlook. Thanks to your generosity and the incredible support from our Chinese partners we were able to host this significant event and promote the fur-free message to millions of Chinese and global consumers. Publicising these ‘compassionate choices’ in China will enable more conversations surrounding the topic of fur and how consumers can use their choices, and therefore power, to create change towards a fur-free future.