Doubt is starting to spread. Still it is kept at bay and diluted by analysis (of dubious origin and politically-reasoned) that maintain the general idea that they are “green”. Now that alternative materials have become mainstream, different news outlets are asking: are fake fur and vegan leather really sustainable? After all, news outlets are starting to finally ask whether the fact that shops and boutiques are filled with plastic products is really better than natural materials. Doubt is spreading.
Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore (economy), discusses the matter with a numerical approach: the “faux fur” market is supposed to grow by an annual rate of 19% (according to Technavio), while the natural fur one is declining. Thus, it would appear obvious that the mrket is heading in one direction. The Milan-based newspaper, then, cites the comments made by the International Fur Federation. If the point is to really bring the industry to be “greener”, is our second option really better? “Natural fur producers have commissioned, in 2018, a study from Belgium-based biotech company OWS, to understand the level of biodegradability of fur, natural and fake”. The result? “The biodegrading process of fake fur never started, nor will it anytime soon”.
Fake fur and vegan leather: are they actually sustainable?
Vogue’s version for younger people (Teen Vogue), enters the topic by asking the public their view of Alden Wicker’s opinion. The journalist, specialized in sustainable matters, admits: “I just cannot bring myself to purchase synthetic fur. All I see is a mountain of microplastic waiting to disperse behind anybody that is wearing one while walking. Winkler recommends to those that cannot stand the idea of wearing fur of animal origin, to buy a second-hand one, or one made with “invasive or overly-populated” species.
CTS News, Canadian news outlet, focused on leather. They ask themselves whether the more “ethical” options (ethical according to the producers’ marketing departments), to natural leather, have been advertised in a misleading manner: beside from a niche of bio-based products, the rest are just made with plastic-based materials”. “After all, it is plastic – states Anika Kozlowski, who works for the Fashion Design, Ethics and Sustainably at Ryerson University -. It doesn’t bio-degrade. It’s here forever and isn’t as durable as leather”.