The fur industry is a perfect example of circular production and should be an inspiration for the fashion world. This is what participants in thefirst Sustainable Fur Forum (SFF) webinar said. During the online event, 4 different speakers, including two MEPs and a sustainable fashion campaigner, discussed why circularity is an integral part of and a priority for the fur sector.
The outburst of COVID-19 exposed the flaws in the fast fashion system. When the shops started to close, clothes started piling up in warehouses, showing the unsustainability of the model. During the lockdown, we lost two seasons, 30 drops and 210 days of fashion, highlightedJohanne Stenstrup, author, entrepreneur and sustainable fashion campaigner.Consumers’ attitude towards theirdressing changed, as they had time to reconnect with their clothes. “The future of fashion should be about our relationship with our clothes, the craftsmanship,the materials, and the people behind the production”, she added.MEP JuozasOlekas (S&D, Lithuania), Chair of the SFF,pointed out that “fast-fashion based on ‘produce-consume-dispose’ has to be replaced by a slow-fashion model with a long-term vision for people and the environment.” This transition needs the involvement of all actors, with a 360-degree approach.“If the European Union wants to be a global leader in achieving climate goals, fashion is certainly a good starting point”, saidMr Olekas.The European Green Deal and Circular Economy Action plan (CEAP) are a historic opportunity for the European fashion sector to improve its performance and contribute to a green transition.The EU needs an ambitious and comprehensive Textile Strategy encompassing all fashion products, based on the hierarchy “eco-design, reduce, repair, reuse, recycle, dispose of”.In this regard, the fur sector can be an inspiration for the fashion world. It is the perfect example of a circular production system with upcycling taking place throughout the value chain. Fur is a natural, biodegradable, long-lasting and reusable material. With proper care, fur garments can last for several decades.Mette Lykke Nielsen, CEO at Fur Europe,insistedon three essential elements that should be included in the EU Textile Strategy: boosting the reuse of garments, the traceability of supply chains anddeveloping eco-design measures.Finally, MEP Pietro Fiocchiconcluded that the fur sector should be treated equally as all the other livestock sectors because it is subject to the same European regulations.This will be further discussed during the next SFF webinar, which will address the future of animal welfare in the EU.