The first biodegradable faux fur
Cruel, animal-derived fur has been out of fashion for a while, although its counter faux fur parts have also been an issue for the environment as all these alternatives are non biodegradable hence, not sustainable for our planet.
The fur industry not only harms animals themselves, but our planet and biodiversity. Despite common misconception, animal fur is not biodegradable, even according to industry studies. In some cases, this material has been misleadingly labelled as ‘natural’ and considering the use of toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde in the process of fur dressing, it can’t be. Not only is fur dressing never ‘eco-friendly’, it also is not friendly to the human workers who make fur products. These workers have in fact been found to be at risk of eye irritation, cancer, and even death because of the toxic chemicals used to treat and preserve the fur.
On the other hand, fur alternatives are synthetics and while these protect animals, they are not a permanent and perfect solution. Synthetic materials are generally fossil fuel derived, can cause micro plastic waste, and, as with faux fur, don’t biodegrade. Despite this, faux fur is still shown to be better for the environment overall when considering the climate impact of animal and faux fur. While synthetic faux fur’s environmental impact is valuable, we all still thrive in trying to find the perfect materials who have 0 impact on our planet, our animals and ourselves.
The company ECOPEL has been creating faux fur products for years helping the Fashion Industry move away from animal cruelty products. Their first improvement came with their recycled synthetic fur for which they used post-consumer plastic bottles to create the material, and soon, will use plastic collected from the ocean, reducing this pollution.
Another improvement was made by the company when they created bio-based faux fur called KOBA, the first faux fur made with vegetal ingredients resulting in 30% less energy and a 63% greenhouse gas emission reduction during production. Although these innovative materials had helped the company to get their distance from the reliance on fossil fuels, KOBA is still a non-biodegradable material.
In the past few years, the company has gone a step further in their endeavours by creating a biodegradable faux fur, GACHA, which brings us a step closer to a total ethical fashion world by providing a solution to the problem of material end-of-life disposal. Instead of ending up in landfill or releasing toxic chemicals back into nature’s soil without actually degrading, GACHA can be broken down to the point of potential environmental replenishment in only 180 days. This product seems to benefit the planet, the animals living on it, and the people who fairly make it.
With Gacha coming into the Fashion game, animal and synthetic fur will soon be nothing more than a sad memory of the past and we can’t wait to see both how the big luxury fashion names integrate this new sustainable material in their collections, and when the big high-street brands will adopt it and make it accessible to everyone.
[information sourced on collectivefashionjustice.com and goodonyou.eco
Featured image by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash
Photo 1 by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash
Photo 2 by Markus Spiske on Unsplash]