The future of dressing and dyeing
After skins are sold at one of the international auction houses, the next step in the value chain – dressing and dyeing – takes place at the dressing factories. Overseen by the International Fur Dressers and Dyers Association (IFDDA), the dressing trade is constantly developing and promoting more sustainable ways to process fur.
Moving together towards a more sustainable future
Kopenhagen Fur has actively been involved with several different dressing houses to run trials with a goal of finding increasingly environmentally-friendly dyeing methods. The dressing and dyeing process currently uses a limited number of chemical substances that are non-hazardous, such as alum, and the process is already tightly regulated by the European Union’s REACH directives2.
The European Union’s REACH directives are an excellent example of how international cooperation can lead to a more sustainable future. The directives determine the rules and regulations for the use of chemicals used in processing methods within the EU and to goods imported to the EU.
The chrome-free conundrum
Chromium III is a natural element found in nature in rocks, animals, plants, soil, volcanic dust and gases. It’s an essential element, with a daily intake of 50 to 200 µg/d recommended for adults. Chromium III is commonly used when dyeing skins bright and vivid colours to meet fashion trends – a niche market with just a small percentage of skins being coloured this way. It’s deemed as being completely safe, but often gets confused with Chromium VI. Also called Hexavalent Chromium, Chromium VI is recognised as a human carcinogen and is prohibited for use within fur processing.
Kopenhagen Fur has worked with several dressing houses to come up with their most sustainable – and chrome-free – dressing. Many unusual alternatives are being considered, as the new method needs to be both more sustainable during processing and in terms of the final fur product. Creating a new formula or coming up with a new dyeing technique might require fashion houses and consumers to accept small changes in the final fur product. After all, Chromium III is completely legal, and these changes are all about choice – staying one step ahead and being capable of offering the most sustainable alternative.
Kopenhagen Fur has worked with several dressing houses to come up with their most sustainable – and chrome-free – dressing.