Would you mind an informed opinion about circular fashion, Gisele?
In a twisted turn of events, former fur-wearing supermodel and fierce supporter of environmental causes, Gisele Bündchen appears on the front page of the August edition of French Vogue promoting fake fur over natural fur for sustainability reasons.
Fake fur is made from petroleum. It goes without saying that such non-renewable resources are not exactly the definition of circular fashion. Not only will plastic products never go away, they remain a pollutant forever – sooner or later the fake fur you promote will enter landfills or waterways and the consequences are alarming. If you happen to wash your plastic fashion, hundreds of thousands of tiny plastic lint fibres are released into waste water every time you use your washing machine. These micro plastics end up in oceans, and conservation experts believe they will contain more plastic than fish by 2050. Maybe pause for thought the next time you cross the ocean in your private jet, Gisele!
All that plastic also happens to be eaten by fish, mammals and sea birds. Studies show that 90% of sea birds have ingested plastic. From an animal welfare perspective this is unhealthy – if not downright painful.
By contrast, in the fur industry we don’t feed our animals with plastic, we feed them with waste products from the production of human food. And this combined with the fact that natural fur is biodegradable, if treated correctly, means that we come pretty close to the definition of circular fashion.
Oh, and then there is the extraordinary long lifespan of fur products. Because regardless of how green we think we are, everything we human beings do – including taking the train or our private jet to work – leaves an environmental footprint. There is simply no way around it, so the trick to being green in the real world is to hold on to products for as long as possible. That way we distribute our inevitable environmental footprints to cause the least possible harm. Did your favourite t-shirt ever last 20 years, Gisele?
Of course Gisele it seems to be a part of your personal definition of sustainability that animals should not be used for fashion. In which case we are likely to disappoint you when we point to a recent US analysis of fake fur showing that many of the samples tested contain wool, leather, animal hair and silk. So to be clear, that’s animal matter right there in your non-renewable plastic fashion!
But all that aside – seeing that we come from very different worlds, we would like to invite you to see a fur farm for yourself and make up your own mind. That is, of course, you are brave enough to step out of the PETA-created illusion where no animal should ever be used by humans. We think you’ll quickly realise that those of us who work in the fur industry are all pretty normal people with pretty normal perceptions about what’s acceptable when it comes to treating sentient beings. But then again Gisele, should you prefer to keep your prejudices to yourself and not accept our fur farm invitation, we can live with that too.