Fur Tries to SHED Its Image, Again
Bloomberg Businessweek|January 17, 2022
The industry is betting a new certification program will win back consumers worried over animal welfare
Irina Anghel and Angelina Rascouet
Few products have suffered a bigger image implosion than fur. Once a status symbol for the rich, rock stars, and royalty, it’s increasingly become stigmatized, a fashion fail synonymous with animal suffering and the ostentatious display of wealth.

And yet, through decades of public protests, corporate boycotts, and vegan activism, the industry has lumbered on, thanks to Chinese mink shoppers and the global trend of fur trimmings on arctic anorak hoods. Now the $25 billion industry is seeking redemption, arguing that fur has its rightful place in the era of sustainability and careful consumption.

The pitch is called Furmark, a certification program that aims to ensure animal welfare and sustainability at every step of the supply chain and to ultimately bring back business. Consumers can trace the farm where a mink, fox, or sable was kept and where the pelt was later dyed and dressed, providing a level of assurance that animal rearing and environmental standards were maintained in the best possible way.

Furmark (not to be confused with the computer graphics card bearing the same name) could turn out to be the last stand for an industry beaten down by trade bans, squeamish fashion houses, and a public sensitized to animals’ well-being. Apparel maker Canada Goose Holdings Inc. has said it will stop using fur in all its products by the end of this year. This is also the last year that retailer Saks Fifth Avenue will sell fur products.

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