FAQ

In how many countries is the Fur Free Retailer program active?

The Fur Free Retailer program is run in 24 countries, but companies from all over the world are welcome to sign up to the program.

How do you guarantee a retailer is fur free?

To join the Fur Free Retailer program retailers are asked to commit to us in writing to not sell any fur or fur trim items. In case a retailer has, accidentally or purposefully, started to sell fur again, they will be contacted and taken off the list until they commit to being fur free again.

Who can sign up?

Any company selling apparel and textile products is welcome to join our program as a Fur Free Retailer. In addition to working with clothing retailers, the Fur Free Retailer program also partners with compassionate designers, celebrities, magazines and others industry leaders who help promote compassionate fashion choices by refusing to use or promote fur and by becoming a Fur Free Partner.

How do I become a Fur Free Retailer?

To join our program, it is needed to commit in writing to not sell any fur or fur trim items. There are no costs or fees. Please leave us your details on our contact page and you will be contacted by the Fur Free Retailer contact person managing the program in your country.

What does it mean to be fur free?

To be fur free means not to sell or promote any products that contain real animal fur. According to our program’s definition, fur is derived from animals primarily raised for fur production.

What is your definition of fur?

According to our program’s definition fur means any animal skin or part thereof with hair or fur fibers attached thereto, either in its raw or processed state or the pelt of any animal killed for the animal‘s fur. “Animal“ includes, but is not limited to, mink, fox, rabbit, karakul lamb, and raccoon dog. “Fur“ shall not include 1) such skins as are, or are to be, converted into leather or which in processing have, or shall have, the hair, fleece, or fur fibers completely removed, 2) materials clipped, shorn, or combed from animals, such as fleece, sheepskin, or shearling, 3) leather or hair attached to skin that is typically used as leather, e.g. cowhide with hair attached, or 4) synthetic materials intended to look like fur.

Why are other animal materials not included in the Fur Free Retailer program?

The Fur Free Retailer program focuses solely on the use of fur by retailers. According to our program’s definition, fur is derived from animals primarily raised for fur production.

Angora is not included in the program since it is defined as wool, and as such it does not count as ‘fur’. However, several investigations have pointed out the cruelty involved in this business which is why we also recommend abstaining from the use of angora.

Materials as leather and shearling – tanned sheep’s skin with the wool still attached to it – are derived from animals that, in contrast to animals in the fur industry, are primarily raised for food. Sheepskin, cow skin, lambskin and leather are considered by-products of the food industry and thus not classified as ‘fur’ according to the Fur Free Retailer program definition.

However, the only way to be certain no animals have suffered for a fashion item is to purchase or sell products free of animal-derived materials. When it comes to fashion products, supply chains are complex and it is rarely possible to identify and trace the source of the material back to its origins, let alone give guarantees about animal welfare standards.

Why is fur harmful to the environment?

The fur industry is keen to promote fur as “green,” but in reality, fur production is a highly toxic and energy-consumptive process. Several European advertising standards committees have ruled that advertising fur as environmentally friendly is “false and misleading”.

On fur factory farms, breeding animals for their fur is inefficient and wasteful, especially for an unnecessary product of vanity. On top of that, waste runoff from thousands of animals concentrated on fur farms pollutes soil and waterways.

After the animal is skinned, the pelt is treated with carcinogenic chemicals during the tanning process and may be dyed or bleached using additional toxic compounds. International research has shown that most fur contains toxins that pose a serious health risk to the consumer.

And in the wild, the killing and injuring of endangered or threatened species by steel leghold traps, body-crushing traps or snares is an ecological disaster.

To sum up, fur is anything but green.

Is faux fur just as bad for the environment as real fur?

No material has zero environmental footprint—with the same being true of faux fur (as well as wool, cotton, and every other material). With more brands going fur-free and more cities and countries banning fur sales and imports, there is a great opportunity for innovation, and the environmental impact of alternative fabrics is one challenge producers must address.

As well, innovation doesn’t stop at faux fur. Gucci’s CEO, Marco Bizzarri, said, “Creativity can jump in many different directions instead of using furs,” which could be new fabric innovations or bio-fabrications, where real skin and fur can be grown in labs without the animal cruelty or environmental impacts.

Today’s consumer cares about innovation and social responsibility, and the fur trade’s archaic practices lack both.

Do you have a question that is not answered here? Use our contact form and we’ll get back to you soon!

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