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All the controversies surrounding the return of fur

A trend that doesn't only concern animal rights activists

All the controversies surrounding the return of fur A trend that doesn't only concern animal rights activists

All this nostalgia can't be good, and the fur trend is proof of that. How do you explain it to the brands that in recent years have removed animal fabrics from their collections, demonstrating their commitment to cruelty-free fashion, now that indie sleaze and mob wife coats are back? With the conclusion of the fashion month presenting the collections and trends for next fall, it becomes evident that the fur problem has resurfaced. Miu Miu, Simone Rocha, Coperni, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Burberry, and also Diesel, Givenchy, Loewe, and Louis Vuitton have brought them to the catwalk, offering a diverse palette of types and colors from which to draw different styles, silhouettes, and lengths. The variety of furs that appeared at the latest Fashion Weeks raises a rather anachronistic controversy about ethics, because while on one hand using "new" animal products in designs is now out of place, on the other sustainable materials seem not yet to have completely replaced them. Companies like Mylo and Renewcell are failing, proof that the industry is moving at two different speeds: on one track the development of new forms and materials capable of maintaining high customer desirability, on the other the total neglect of initiatives creating cutting-edge green alternatives.

Real fur, as we know, goes against every commitment to sustainability, promoting cruelty to animals and an objectively obsolete system of fashion. Fake fur, in turn, brings another series of issues, foremost among them the use of microplastics, which not only are not disposed of once thrown away, but go on to pollute water reserves even in the production process, ending up on our plate and finally in our bodies. Produced with PET or acrylic, the constituents of fake furs are composed of petroleum-based materials and polyacrylonitrile, both highly harmful substances to the environment and humans. Fortunately, the mob wife trend emerged on social media after that of vintage fashion, so most consumers are already aware of the positive aspects of saving used clothing. In the case of furs, reclaiming your grandmother's coat or buying from a thrift store saves animals' lives, protects your wallet, and turns your back on fast fashion brands that support unethical production practices. Unfortunately, problems persist even in the best-case scenarios: with increasing demand for furs, whether real, fake, or vintage, the factories that create them using unethical practices also increase. And so the cycle repeats itself.

Fortunately, in recent years, it hasn't just been individual brands banning the sale of furs, but entire conglomerates like Kering, governments like the European Union and the state of California, and even the Fashion Weeks themselves, with Copenhagen and London leading the way by banning their use on the catwalks. Animal rights associations are protesting against brands still producing real furs, from Max Mara to Fendi, while in the case of leather goods, famous remain the PETA activists' show crashing cases at the Hermes, Burberry, Gucci, and Coach shows last September. In the luxury brand parenthesis, from the catwalks of the latest Fashion Weeks, a beneficial trend has emerged, the tromp-l'oeil: Gabriela Hearst's furs were actually made of cashmere, while Diesel's were made with frayed denim. Faced with the increasing number of designs that include appliqué or even faux fur coats, the role of founded enterprises creating sustainable alternatives, capable of emulating animal materials while avoiding waste, cruelty, or unnecessary damage, remains doubtful. If established names like Mylo and Renewcell (respectively producers of vegan leather and promoters of circular fashion) are facing failure despite having found concrete solutions to the questions involving the entire industry, will the same happen to companies producing eco-friendly furs?