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Image / Fashion

Ethical fashion move: Prada announces it will no longer use fur

by Jennifer McShane
23rd May 2019

For consumers of fashion in 2019, we are embracing sustainability as a natural way of life. We’re conscious of not only how our clothes look and feel but how they are made and importantly, where their materials come from.

To this end, Prada is the latest to join fashion’s fur-free movement.

The BBC reports the Italian luxury group, which owns Miu Miu as well as its flagship Prada brand and two others, announced this week that it would no longer use animal fur from Spring/Summer 2020 onward.

Related: Fabrics to avoid and embrace if you want to make more sustainable fashion choices

Animal fur will not be used in its designs or new products, items already made will continue to be sold, for the time being.

“Focusing on innovative materials will allow the company to explore new boundaries of creative design while meeting the demand for ethical products,” said the head of the fashion chain, Miuccia Prada in a statement.

Prada joins a growing list of brands and retailers ceasing the use of animal fur, including GucciBurberry and Versace.

Related: The impressive, Irish innovators leading the way in sustainable fashion

“Fur has never been part of the main pieces of Prada,” he said, adding that the brand has already stopped showing animal fur on its catwalk. “People are always asking for a more sustainable approach from the company … [consumers are] different from the past. They think everybody needs to do their part to have a more sustainable world and future.”

Campaigners stepped up their calls for Prada to stop using fur last year, when, according to Humane Society International (HSI), Prada was selling jackets made of fox fur and minx fur. They reportedly received “thousands of emails” in protest.

The decision to completely end the use of fur followed behind-the-scene discussions with members of the Fur Free Alliance, according to the luxury group.

How can I tell if the fur is real or fake?

The HSI has the following tips on their website:

1. Check the ends of the fur. Real fur tends to taper to a point at the end of each strand, whereas the tip of faux fur tends to be blunt where it has been cut in the manufacturing process. (Note: This is not fool-proof because any real fur that has been sheared will not be tapered, but this is the exception, not the rule.)

2. Check the base of the fur. Part the hairs at the very base of the fur. Faux fur will be attached to a fabric backing, identified by its weave look. At the base of real fur, there will be an animal’s skin (leather).

3. The burn test. You can’t do this test in store obviously, but if you already own the item, then simply burning a small sample of a few hairs can be helpful. If it’s real animal fur, it will singe and smell like burnt human hair, whereas if it’s fake, it will melt and curl into tiny balls, and smell like burnt plastic. (Note: Please only conduct the burn test in a safe environment, and on a small sample cut from the main item.)

Main photograph: Jason Lloyd-Evans

More like this: 

  • Meet the inspiring woman behind sustainable Irish brand The Ethical Silk Company… here
  • Meet the young Irish designer whose sustainable designs the Instagram set can’t get enough of… here
  • Three sustainable Irish brands we’ve fallen head-over-heels for… here

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