In China, Saga Furs cooperated with Zhejiang University of Technology’s College of Fashion Design and Engineering. The aim of the cooperation was to strengthen the competitiveness of students in the labour market, but also to promote the sustainable and innovative development of the fur industry. As a result of the cooperation was organized the “Industry-Education Collaborative Course” for graduating senior students, during the second half of the 2022, which was recently successfully completed by presenting the student course output.
The College of Fashion Design and Engineering is the most distinctive and socially influential college in Zhejiang Sci-Tech University. Also, it is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in fashion in China. Zhejiang Sci-Tech University has also been actively expanding its Sino-foreign cooperation programmes, it has been cooperating with the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) since 2000 and was awarded as a model project for Sino-foreign cooperation. It is also the only university in China where the Italian Instituto Marangoni fashion and design school has established a cooperative institution.
Introduction to the world of fur
The course started with Samantha Vesala’s (Business Director of Saga Furs) introduction of Saga Furs as a company and its auction system though an online session. This gave a good insight into the new world of fur auctions since mostly people have never been exposed to it before. Samantha also showed students the latest fur technique samples from Fur Vision 2023 collection.
The students were amazed by the latest fur techniques samples, which completely shattered their prejudices of fur. In the classroom, the tutor from Saga Furs also showed the students a variety of mink, fox and Finnraccoon pelts, as well as the details of fur techniques samples, which the students said had inspired new ideas of how they could design products with fur.
The second stage of the course was all about working with fur, hands-on. Having already had a basic understanding of fur, the students were excited to get their hands on the fur craftsmanship part. Mr. Wang Yanbo, the owner of Chinese fur brand FANSHIKA, was the instructor for this part of the course because of his exquisite fur skills.
In the next part of the course, Mr. Wang taught the students some basic fur techniques and gave each student individual corrective instructions, laying the foundation for the students to make their own work.
In the final stage of the course, the students conducted their own market research to gain a deeper understanding of the current situation of the fur industry. Based on this, they applied their knowledge and techniques to design and produce fur products in groups, supported with a detailed product promotion plan, which were then presented and demonstrated in the classroom.
At the end of the course, the students were sincere in stating that, as students of fashion, they had not had the opportunity or the corresponding courses to learn about fur, which had left them with a blind spot in this field. This in turn has resulted in the fact that they were rarely using this material in their designs. After the course they will be more likely to want to be associated with fur in their subsequent work, which will inevitably increase their advantage in employment after graduation.
Talent training plays a key role in the development of the fur industry. The collaboration between educational institutions and businesses provides both parties with the new and innovative development, creates trends and talents needed for development of the whole fur industry.