ACTAsia’s Fur-Free Life project helps consumers and professionals make informed choices by shining a light on the reality of the fur industry.
The damaging impact of fur
Fur is big business in Asia, but it is an industry built on underlying cruelty and suffering for the animals involved as well as a host of environmental issues. Fur production 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 and animal waste runoff from fur factory farms polluting soil and waterways. Keeping thousands of animals on fur farms has a severe ecological footprint, as it requires land, water, feed, energy and other resources.
Why is fur such a big business in China?
China is the largest producer of fur and importer of fur worldwide, supplying more than half of the finished fur garments imported for sale in the United States. China is the biggest producer, largely due to the fact that the industry is encouraged, and not subject to legislation or regulation regarding animal welfare or environmental protection. The industry makes up almost 0.5% of national GDP in China. With such large commercial profits at stake, the challenge to ban fur farming in China is considerable. Following disruption to the global industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, China is now less dependent on imports and aims to achieve substantial domestic production by targeting domestic consumers through marketing campaigns, with online sales set to increase. There is potential for the industry in China to sustain the global fur industry. It is also estimated that China and Poland will become the main mink fur producers, together accounting for almost half of global production.
How ACTAsia is helping to stop the demand for fur
ACTAsia’s Fur Free project helps consumers make informed choices by shining a light on the reality of the fur industry. ACTAsia highlights the facts and practices surrounding breeding, the conditions that animals are kept in, slaughter methods and the environmentally damaging production process of fur. ACTAsia publishes and updates research into these areas and we help consumers and retailers choose fur alternatives. We do this because the industry is well versed in hiding the brutal realities of fur production.
ACTAsia hosts an annual Fur Free and Sustainable Fashion Festival in China advocating compassionate alternatives to real fur. ACTAsia’s Fur Free project is run in conjunction with the Fur Free Retailer and as part of the FFR scheme, ACTAsia has recruited 72 brands in China, and we continue to encourage fashion designers and retailers to pledge never to use real fur. More than 1500 retailers have joined the international scheme to-date.
Our fur free work with the UN
In 2021, ACTAsia became a member of the UN’s Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle Network, which aims to accelerate the fashion industry’s progress towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal targets for 2030. ACTAsia supports this progress through our educational work and targeted events with the goal of reducing demand for fur in the fashion industry. ACTAsia is the first organisation to successfully promote a fur free campaign goal ‘to ultimately eliminate the demand for fur in fashion’ as part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Fur free university education
This is the first academic course of its kind in the world, as part of the FutureLearn platform, to be offered by a non-profit organisation. Through this course, ACTAsia is working closely with fashion professionals to bring discussion around social justice, environmental protection and animal rights to mainstream fashion education. The course caters for fashion students and professionals and is written and recorded by ACTAsia, in collaboration with John Lau, Dean of Academic Strategy at the London College of Fashion. By the end of the course, students will be equipped with the knowledge to write their own manifesto for compassion in fashion, identifying the problems inherent to the fashion industry and visualising change.
Fur Free Online Forum
ACTAsia also hosts an annual Sustainable Fur Free Fashion Forum for fashion stake holders including designers, retailers, producers, suppliers, trade associations and consumers. High-profile international specialists and renowned Chinese speakers are welcomed to the Forum to promote the need for sustainable fur free fashion. Through these Forums our audience reach has grown exponentially over the years. During COVID years the Forums have also grown into hybrid formats to allow both physical and online viewings. In 2021, ACTAsia had over 8,200 people viewing our two fashion forums.
ACTAsia’s fur free research
ACTAsia also publishes details about animal breeding, capture, containment, and slaughter, and how the process of turning animal skins into viable fur garments is environmentally damaging. We research into the true origins of real fur on our high streets, informing consumers of mislabelled goods, and have conducted scientific research into the potentially hazardous toxic residues left in fur items for sale on the high street.
Find out more about ACTAsia’s incredible impact in combatting the use of fur worldwide.