January 29, 2009
Besides the inherent cruelty, it's bad for the environment
Over the past several years, investigative footage of animals being skinned alive in China has caused an outcry.
Many apparel companies have also been tied to falsely advertised or falsely labeled fur, much of it from China.
For these reasons, more and more companies and consumers have rejected fur, adopting fur-free corporate policies and discriminating with their purchasing power.
Perhaps in a bid to turn attention away from these troubling issues, in 2007 the Fur Council of Canada revived its past advertising campaign touting animal fur as synonymous with eco-fashion, using the slogan "Fur is Green."
At a time when "green" fashion is popular, however, eco-conscious consumers are wary of "greenwashing"—marketing a product as more environmentally friendly than it really is.
Polluting and Energy Inefficient
According to criteria stipulated by the Fur Council of Canada, "environmentally friendly apparel and accessories should be made from natural materials that are...renewable, durable, long-lasting, reusable, recyclable, biodegradable, non-polluting, [and] energy efficient in their production, use and disposal."
Our new paper "Toxic Fur" addresses the fur industry's claims and demonstrates how the use of animal fur by the fashion industry is far from environmentally friendly. Rather, the production of fur for fashion imposes significant adverse impacts on both the environment and human health.
If you or your company cares about the environment, avoid buying, wearing, or selling animal fur.
Read "Toxic Fur: The Impacts of Fur Production on the Environment and the Risks to Human Health" [PDF], and see our video, below.
"Well I don't do leather and I don't do fur and it's not just because I don't eat animals or that I think that half a billion animals a year shouldn't be killed for the sake of fashion. It's because I also believe very much in the connection between fur and leather and the environment. There's a huge connection.
Now, I think more and more people will start to take notice of that—the use of water for tanneries, the chemicals that are used—there's a huge impact environmentally. I try and just think responsibly in the way that I approach business."
"Stella McCartney on ecology, luxury and life," International Herald Tribune, March 24, 2009