Fur industry launches sustainability strategy at UK stakeholder event

Fur industry launches sustainability strategy

Saga Furs sustainability reporting: Stakeholder engagement

On 17 February 2020, Saga Furs partner organisation, The International Fur Federation (IFF) launched a new sustainability strategy and program, setting out a clear direction for the global fur industry and its broader value network on animal welfare, environmental protection and the people and communities that work in the sector.

The launch took place to coincide with London Fashion Week at a stakeholder event hosted by the Danish Embassy in London. In attendance from Saga Furs were Charles Ross and Marika Peuhkuri-Grön. Leena Harkimo of the Finnish Fur Breeders Association was also present accompanied by Päivi Pihlajamäki, Counsellor, Economic and EU Affairs at the Finnish Embassy in the UK.

Other attendees included major brands, retailers, publications including Vogue, GQ and WWD, sustainability experts, embassies representatives from all major fur producing and manufacturing countries including Canada, Greece, Finland and Iceland, the UN, the UK parliament and other fur industry representatives.

Ambitious framework for fur sector future

Speaking at the event, IFF Chief Executive, Mark Oaten said: “This strategy will set out a framework and future ambitions for the fur sector, based around the UN’s sustainable development goals, and will consist of ground-breaking global initiatives, targeted interventions and clear goals that will move the industry to becoming truly sustainable.

“Fur is one of the most sustainable natural materials, the epitome of ‘slow fashion’, and is an industry worth an estimated $30 billion per year that employs hundreds of thousands across the globe. All of those involved in the sector and wider supply chain have a role to play in helping to meet and deliver these ambitious goals and this strategy will help them to do that.”

Animal welfare, Environment and People

The Natural Fur Strategy will consist of three core key pillars:

  1. Good for Welfare
  2. Good for the Environment
  3. Good for People

With eight major initiatives and themes grouped around each pillar. For more on these click here. The full Sustainability Strategy can be found here.

“This was an important event in terms of getting the fur industry’s position on sustainability and FURMARK out to the media, designers and fashion brands,” said Charles Ross of Saga Furs. “This program has been developed to be transparent and set clear benchmarks as the fur farming community continues to lead the animal-use industry in developing animal welfare standards. The event was attended by several European Embassies that want to hear the facts directly, so their governments can continue to support the fur industry.”

Panel The diverse and high-level panel was made up of: Ryan Holt of the Fur Information Council of America; Ineta Joksaite, Fashion Designer and former Remix winner; John Papsø, Danish fur farmer and Chair of Fur Europe; and Gianluca Longo, Style Editor for British Vogue. The discussion was dominated by themes increasingly ubiquitous in today’s fashion circles, linked to responsible production and consumption, notably recycling and reuse, sustainable raw materials, waste reduction and transparent supply-chains.

More quality reporting needed

“The operative word at the event was ‘information’,” says Saga Furs CSR Manager, Marika Peuhkuri-Grön. “There’s still a lot of prejudice around the fur industry that isn’t necessarily based on fact, and we were all in agreement that if we can get more quality information flowing that’s measurable, verifiable and from credible sources, we will go a long way to changing perceptions. And raising up these three sustainability pillars of Welfare, Environment and People is a good place to start.”