New Study Says Faux-Fur Is More Environmental Than Mink

A new study shows that when compared, mink fur has, by far, harsher environmental impacts than faux – even when that mink is reused once or twice. This study emerged from CE Delft, a Dutch, “independent research and consultancy organization specialized in developing innovative solutions to environmental problems” for international governments, industry and NGOs. Download the entire study here.

“…a natural mink fur product will always have a higher environmental impact than faux fur…”

The condemning research could mean big trouble for the fur industry which has spent millions trying to convince consumers that fur is “natural” and therefore “green”. The fur industry is known for making claims that synthetics are worse for the environment than animal pelts like mink – but the research shows something quite the opposite. Even when things like cold storage are factored out and low-impact mink feed are factored in, the impacts of mink still outweigh faux. In fact, even if someone were to use 5 faux-fur coats compared to one mink coat, the results still show lower environmental impacts for faux.  Only when 5 faux-furs using wool as backing (which is another animal industry with huge ecological impacts) is factored in and compared to 1 mink that does not use cold storage, do some of the impacts of faux with wool even approach those of mink.

…Results are calculated for various scenarios for cold storage and cleaning… results show that the use of five faux fur coats has less impact than the use of one natural mink fur coat.”

With all of the exciting technological developments in the realm of sustainable synthetics, plant-based biodegradable polyesters, bio printing, and organic plant-based materials,  one can only wonder how much longer “real” fur will be around.

Mink Farm
Photograph by Jo-Anne McArthur/ We Animals

Written by joshuakatcher

Joshua Katcher is an adjunct professor of fashion at Parsons The New School. His research focuses on sustainability and ethics in fashion production. He started The Discerning Brute in 2008 as a resource for men who want to make intelligent decisions concerning their lifestyles. With a focus on “fashion, food & etiquette for the ethically handsome man”, The Discerning Brute produces expert, essential content and boldly takes a stand. Brave GentleMan, the integrated, eCommerce brother-site of The Discerning Brute was launched in 2011 and features “principled attire” and “smart supplies” handpicked for informed indulgence.
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