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How 'green' are cruelty-free furs?

Materials are often synthetic, such as nylon and polyester

(ANSA) - Rome, October 30 - Faux fur coats, a must-have in the Winter 2018-2019 fashion collections, are emblematic of a movement towards more ecological choices in the fashion industry and society in general.
    Many stylists have announced that they are going "fur-free", including Gucci, Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Donatella Versace, Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Hermes.
    Brunello Cucinelli this year showed an ecological fur made of natural mohair, while Stella McCartney, who has always put sustainability at the forefront of her collections, titled her most recent show "Green is the New Black".
    Although the new "furs" are cruelty-free, their production raises questions about how environmentally friendly they are.
    Despite a few specialised houses that produce faux furs using wool, the majority are made with synthetic fibres such as nylon, acrylic, and polyester.
    Another fibre that is often used is called Kanecaron, which contains between 30 and 85% of the chemical acrylonitrile, which is the basis for plastic.
    Leading the movement that is raising questions about the sustainability of fake fur is "Lady Fur", a.k.a. Samantha De Riviziis, a former model and international influencer.
    "How environmentally friendly are ecological furs and fur-free? The fibres come from petroleum, just like plastic, they aren't biodegradable and they pollute the environment," De Riviziis said.
    "There's a lot of confusion. Designers should communicate more clearly with consumers, defining what it means to be 'organic', 'eco', 'green', 'fur-free', 'vegan' and 'eco-fur', because it doesn't always mean respect for the environment," she said. "If a brand says that it is sustainable, it should think about social, environmental, and economic sustainability," she said. In 2018, several fashion houses announced they will no longer produce real fur, including Gucci, Versace, Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo, Furla, John Galliano and Donna Karan.
    Tom Ford and Givenchy have substituted exotic leathers not only with synthetic fibres, but also with discarded hides from the food industry.


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