The sartorial incentives to choose faux fur have never been more compelling. The Tylt, a consumer research group that polls millennial and Gen Z-ers, found that 76.2 percent of respondents believe all designers should ban the use of fur. Whether you're an animal advocate that loves the luxe look it, or you're an environmental advocate who knows vegan textiles are more sustainable, the stylish opportunities of the season are endless. (Hello: colorful and fun "fur" prints.)
Still, even faux fur is far from being perfect and there are a couple of red flags that critics note — like the fact that it is petroleum-based and non-biodegradable, or that microplastic and microfiber pollution end up in our water-ways when it's washed. "It's presented as an ethical alternative to real fur," says Fleur Britten, assistant editor of the Sunday Times Style. "But it's also bad news for the environment and the people who produce it, thanks to the chemical-intensive production and its use of fossil fuels to create it." But speaking from a harm-reduction standpoint, every step consumers take away from factory farming (the emission-heavy, corporate-cultivation of animals for commodities like meat, dairy, leather, and fur) helps forge a more sustainable market in the future. As a whole, the non-animal derived textile industry yields only one third the carbon footprint of its animal-derived counterpart.
"The relationship between fashion, factory farming, and climate change cannot be ignored," states Emmanuelle Rienda, creator of Vegan Fashion Week. "Vegan sustainable fashion is the ultimate answer to climate change and waste pollution." And, as time goes on, there is headway being made towards the development of even more efficient textiles — like Frumat, the eco-friendly alternative to existing vegan leather options. As consumers make it increasingly clear that we care about ethics in fashion, the environment, and the treatment of animals, brands are responding. Even haute couture designers like Burberry, Prada, Gucci, Versace, Michael Kors, and John Galliano have joined Stella McCartney in banning fur starting with their 2020 collections.
Faux fur and upcycled fur brand, Bubish, stands out for its commitment to innovation in this space. Alex and Georgie Babyska, the Director and Designer of the brand (respectively), make sustainability a key component of their business model. In addition to designing faux fur garments that will last for years, their website includes an upcycled fur section of outerwear made from recycled fur. "We have a strong customer base that loves to wear the real thing, but in a conscious way," Babyska explains. "This process involves our factory sourcing surplus fur [that is] left over from the food industry. It is then washed, dyed, and finally hand-crafted by our team of knitters and sewers." The upcycled fur coat that results is warm, biodegradable, durable, and no animals were killed for its creation.
With California becoming the first state to ban the sale of fur, following Los Angeles, Berkeley, and San Francisco's city-wide bans, the faux fur trend will not be fizzling out anytime soon. Politics aside, you'll love the cuddly feel of some faux fur outerwear in winter. Below, discover our favorites.
Thanks to their inclusive size range, curvy babes can get in on the trend with this flattering, affordable pick. Concealed snap closure up front brings on the retro vibes.
Emma Watson herself is a fan of this fun, faux-fur print. The animal print trend gets a feminine upgrade with the incorporation of flirty florals.
Keep things cozy in this waist-length monochromatic coat. The Aussie vegan line is a popular brand among faux fur fans.
Luxury fashion-lovers need to check out Marei 1998's glam garments. The furless collection is an absolute must for the ethical fashionista.
We're obsessed with this oversized, reversible jacket from the luxury sustainable brand. Wear it one way to rock the olive green style with leopard print sleeves, or turn it inside out for the subtle, military-inspired look of grey camo.
This bomber-style coat with a chic, fold-down collar adds a hit of luxury to any look. While this one is faux, the retailer *also* features an upcycled fur section in the name of sustainability (by extending the garment life-cycle).
This is our obvious pick for vintage-lovers. We love the embroidered details, shaggy fur lining, and the overall rocker-chic lewk.
This cheap and chic black faux fur coat is the perfect way to experiment with the trend.
This double-breasted style is the perfect way to wear the trench-inspired silo in the cooler months. It's a classic revamped.
While a leopard coat is a classic pick, this jungle green is next-level. Wear it and channel your inner street-style star.
This sleek grey jacket looks cool over a t-shirt and jeans and dressy over your fancier outfits. Its versatility makes it a must-have.
This ultra-soft pink fluff ball of a coat will keep your spirits high even on the coldest, darkest days.
This chic long navy faux fur coat will have every outfit feeling street-style worthy -- after all, it's made by Something Navy's blog-to-brand line.
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