Refrain

On the face of it choosing to use faux or synthetic fur to make garments might seem to be a much more sustainable and ethical option to animal fur. However, the production and use of fur fabric using synthetic fibres is not without its problems.

In recent years, the use of real animal fur in the fashion industry has become unacceptable for ethical reasons. In 2023 it was officially banned from shows during London Fashion Week by the British Fashion Council and has been shunned and avoided by prestigious fashion brands such as Burberry, Prada, Versace, Armani and Stella McCartney. However, as there is still an appetite for the look and feel of fur in the fashion trade, manufacturers and makers strive to develop and use more ethical and sustainable alternatives. Furs made from synthetic fibres have been available since the late 1940s but recent awareness of microplastic pollution in our oceans, contributed to by the shedding of microscopic fabric particles, and an over reliance on fossil fuel based synthetic fibres, has focused manufacturers efforts into developing quality, long-lasting garments using more sustainable and environmentally friendly fibres.

Issy London have made a conscious decision to reduce their impact on the environment. By limiting the numbers of each style made, and therefore potentially remaining unsold, they aim to reduce fashion waste. Furthermore, the Adele animal print faux fur coat (1) is made using GreenCircle certified recycled fibres from plastic bottles to produce a soft, luxurious feel material, thus reducing the demand for new petroleum extraction and thereby lowering their carbon footprint. GreenCircle certification provides independent verification of the claims of an organisation for carbon footprint reductions.

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The Tansy coat (2), designed by Hannah Weiland of Shrimps, uses faux fur containing 40% Sorona, a partially plant based fibre from renewable resources. Sorona is resistant to the adverse effect of UV rays that causes fibres to break down over time, and it can be mechanically recycled. Its use reduces the release of microplastics into the environment and helps to lengthen the life of the garment. The lining of the coat is also made using 60% recycled content.

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