Fur is the Exact Opposite of Fast Fashion

More and more collections. Sale. Waste. The fashion industry has been going off a sidetrack. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated a disruption that has been going on for the last couple of years. The disruption only highlights benefits of fur, and the global fur industry will make sure to inform the fashion industry.

The International Fur Federation (IFF) has developed a “post-pandemic relaunch strategy” – a strategy to start a conversation with the fashion industry and the consumers to inform about the good qualities of fur. The timing could not be better, as the fashion industry and the fashion consumers are moving away from the fast fashion trend – a tendency that the corona crisis have accelerated.

An unhealthy system

Before we take a look at IFF’s campaign, Jean-Pierre Rouphael, the Director of Fashion at IFF and responsible for the fur trade’s global cooperation with the fashion industry, takes us on a tour through the international fashion system, so we can understand exactly, why the situation is so bad that the fashion industry is telling itself to stop.

In his 15 years of experience, Jean-Pierre Rouphael has closely followed the development of fashion brands, and he has seen how the pace has increased dramatically during the last 7 years. So dramatically, that the fashion industry has pushed itself over the edge. Especially through online shopping, where you can buy clothes 24/7, and prodded by the culture of social media.

“This development is, among other factors, a result of the influencer culture on social media. It is important to have the newest clothes, and these cannot be worn more than once. You must keep up with the latest trends, and as more and more seasons have emerged in the past years, more clothes are being produced”, he says.

Another problem is that the big fashion houses’ clothes are several months underway. During that time, photos of their collections are all over the internet via social media, and meanwhile retailers, such as Zara, who have a two-week production time, have already copied the collections. By the time the collections from the big fashion houses arrive in the stores, it is no longer newsworthy, and that is how fast fashion has taken over the big fashion houses.

“Today the lifespan of garments in a store is a maximum of two months – after that, the clothes are no longer relevant and cannot be sold – unless it’s on sale. Now we have end-of-season-sale, mid-season-sale, Black Friday etc. Nobody wants to pay full price for their clothes anymore. Clothes have become so cheap that you do not have to take care of them nor put effort in reselling them. You can simply just throw them out. Big online shops, such as Matches.com and Farfetch.com, have a specific tab for sale items all year long. It is an unhealthy system, and everyone needs the fashion industry to slow down. The fashion industry has created an insane consumer behavior, and it is deeply harmful to the environment”, says Jean-Pierre Rouphael.


Back to the old virtues

“Our consumption has consequences, and people are beginning to see it”, Jean-Pierre Rouphael claims:
“The Corona-crisis has pushed the consumers to think in a different way. They have found out that they do not need to buy new clothes all the time. And it has given the fashion industry the courage to finally act.”

This whole development culminates in the initiative that goes by the name #rewiringfashion. The fashion industry itself stands behind the initiative, and almost 2.000 brands have agreed to support a remake of the industry.

“#Rewiringfashion wants to go back to producing quality clothes, that are better for the planet and which have been produced sustainably. Clothes that will not be outdated after two months and that can be recycled or re-made. They will slow down and go back to the love for fashion and craftsmanship, says Jean-Pierre Rouphael.

Based on the values above, fur is almost created with that vision in sight. In fact, fur possesses all the qualities that the fashion industry is searching for right now.

“The fashion industry has lost its beauty, however fur has never derailed from its path. Fur is the exact opposite of the unhealthy fashion system. We are in fact a part of the solution to the problems that the fashion industry is experiencing right now. Therefore, our main focus is to communicate the qualities of fur through our campaign, so that consumers can wear fur with pride”, says Jean-Pierre Rouphael.

“The fashion industry will never be the same after the corona pandemic, and we must make sure that fur will be a part of the new and improved fashion system. We will show that fur is responsible, it is craftsmanship and it is the opposite of overproduction. We are going to demonstrate the contrasts between fur and the outdated fashion industry”.

This article was published in “Dansk Pelsdyravl” magazine by Heidi Cecilie Lorvik.