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Faux Fur Friday, by Milly Sirl, Radnor House School

The first Friday in every December – or December the 3rd for 2021 – is a nationally recognised day: Faux Fur Friday.

Every year, more of us make the decision to cut meat out of our diets whether this is partially, for a period of time or permanent. At this current point in time, only 2-3% of Brits identify themselves as completely vegetarian according to The Vegetarian Society – Eva Lees who attends Twyford CofE Sixth Form said “I think it is important for every person to do their bit, big or small, to try and protect the planet we live on” about her 8 years of vegetarianism. 

 

But, let’s put our own ideas and ideals to the side for one moment and find out if faux fur really is the environmental saviour it claims to be.

 

We can all agree that animal cruelty for a simple fashion statement is inherently wrong, where our ancestors would once have needed animal skins and furs to survive cold weather we no longer require such primal sources of warmth. So, when faux fur took the fashion world by storm in the 1950s it is no wonder that we advocated for an alternative to the controversial fur industry – however faux fur is largely made out of a blend of acrylic and polyester fibres which breaks down into microplastics when we chuck it away and are not biodegradable which has all sort of impacts on the environment including chemical toxicity which harms hormone systems as well as blocking the digestive track of animals reducing their appetite and eventually killing them.

 

This being said, the benefits of faux fur still vastly outweigh the negatives and are a much better option to real fur as Elisa Allen, Peta UK director says “a mink coat always has at least five times the environmental impact of a faux-fur one”. It is still vital we search for more sustainable options for wearing fur (such as fur from recycled plastics), as fast fashion increases the demand for faux fur products so we have an increasingly shorter amount of time to drastically reduce our microplastic emissions and save the planet.



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