My dear fashionistas, today I have a special educational fashion story for you that will surely intrigue you and make you think about the news in the world of fur fashion. Fur, a natural material that has been loved and appreciated for centuries, as from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages. From material that was used only to provide warm coverage it has grown into a landmark of aristocracy and nobility. Prominent merchants, respectable people, and even some distinguished members of the royal families were great fans of fur.
It has been in the fashion spotlight for centuries, but for the last few years, we have been wondering, will the use of this precious material come to an end? Is the fur industry really an environmental problem?
The mink coat has always been a symbol of luxury and elegance. Some of you may remember the advertising campaigns of the fashion house “Blackglama” with the famous slogan – “How to become a legend“. During the 20th and 21st centuries, there is no famous person from the world of entertainment, such as divas like Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Greys Kelly, Beth Davis, Judy Garland, Barbara Streisand, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga and even Anna Wintour who did not like to wear fur. Over the last decade different societies fought for animal rights and almost killed the fur industry.
Obviously, there are many pros and cons on this topic, but it at least deserves an open discussion, which never happened because all doors were suddenly closed for natural fur worldwide. Nowadays some things in the fashion world have changed and fur is back! Now we have new possibilities that have been provided by the International Fur Federation that should satisfy both sides, fur and animal friends. Fake fur cannot compare with natural fur’s beauty, quality and durability.
The fur industry has been challenged in recent years over animal procurement and welfare practices. Long before the proposed law on work in the fur industry, the fur industry itself worked diligently to ensure that it adhered to the highest standards of animal welfare. Today’s consumers demand to know more about what they are buying. Transparency is an expectation in the food they eat to the clothes they wear. There is a growing demand for sustainability, healthier choices and the need for a clear understanding of the supply chain behind the products they buy. The global fur market, despite all the adversity, has grown 40% in the last 15 years.
In order to not only combat all the adversity, but also to change the perceptions of wearing fur, the International Fur Federation has developed a formal certification and traceability process, Furmark®. Fur is one of the most sustainable natural products in the world of fashion. The use of organic materials is a complete contrast and rejection of fast and plastic fashion, which are typically oil derivatives. Fur epitomises slow fashion; it is treated as a purchase of heritage and lasts for generations.
At New York Fashion Week 2022, the world had the opportunity to see the incredible collection of Victor Glemaud, who paid tribute to the exceptional black culture and black history. The idea of natural shapes and cuts has resulted in amazing fur pieces reminiscent of 60s fur coats that are bound to become timeless classics. Beauty and simplicity are the qualities of luxury that Victor Glemaud has proven with his amazing new collection.
Mr.Glemaud pointed out some of the advantages and benefits he had during the creation of the collection in cooperation with the Pologeorgis, one of the first manufacturers to join Furmark® and to adopt it in practice. Victor Glemaud emphasized the importance of tracking and certification of fur, which gives additional peace of mind to customers when buying fur, because customers purchasing his designs can be sure of the origin of their fur.
Furmark® is true proof that fashion can be slow, real and personal. In addition to a sense of security, you know your piece is handcrafted.
Customers want to know and be sure that animal welfare is a priority. Therefore, Furmark® is based on scientific evidence, with full independent inspections to ensure that the highest standards are applied. Inspectors examine in detail all aspects of the farm – from food, water and daily care of the animal’s life. Wild fur is only allowed from conservation programs – all of which are run under strict guidelines.
The International Fur Federation has 56 members in over 40 countries around the world. The members of the federation are all actors in the fur industry, including farmers, producers, brokers, auction houses, retailers and designers. Each of these members have signed a strict code of conduct that obliges them to comply with laws relevant to the fur industry in their home countries.
The International Fur Federation is an organization founded more than 50 years ago and is the only organization that represents the international fur industry and regulates its practice and trade. The Federation aims to promote the fur business, establish certification and traceability programs for welfare and the environment, as well as support young designers and small traders who intend to develop in the fashion and fur industry.
The Furmark® certification system was developed by the International Fur Federation (IFF) with associate members, who are eminent representatives of luxury brands, all of whom work with natural fur as part of the supply chain. There are three key principles on which this certification is based: science, independent inspection and transparency.
All Furmark® certificates must also be verified by third parties, while being publicly available and at the same time maintaining pre-agreed standards of sustainability, relevance, availability and traceability set from the outset. Leading industry experts have teamed up to develop a solution for the manufacturing and retail industries in the sector.
Including ChainPoint traceability technology, Furmark® is able to provide full integration and constant transparency throughout the supply chain that benefits manufacturers, retailers and consumers. All Furmark® marks are explicitly linked to individual products and stocks, allowing all distribution to be strictly controlled and monitored, which in turn helps protect and preserve the integrity of the certification system.
Furmark® is a comprehensive global certification and a system for monitoring the natural fur production chain that guarantees animal welfare and compliance with all environmental standards. The Furmark certification system includes only wild and farmed natural fur on farms from leading animal protection programs (including the first animal welfare program introduced on the basis of the European Commission ‘s data on self – regulation and Co-regulatory initiatives).
What does Furmark® mean in practice? As an evidence-based system, Furmark® is applied throughout the supply chain, not just in the earliest stages: for a product to be Furmark® certified, it must go through every step in the Furmark® supply chain. In line with modern societal values and to ensure the highest level of transparency that consumers expect, traceability is at the heart of Furmark®. Those who buy Furmark® certified products will have full access to detailed information about the fur they bought through the integrated QR code and tracking number located on the fur item label itself. Furmark® ensures the highest standards of animal welfare and the environment.
In today’s market, transparency, honesty and openness to communication are key drivers for customers. Furmark® products are traceable, verified and they are guaranteed to meet recognized standards. With Furmark®, every supply chain phase is subject to certification, third party assessment and traceability.
Consumers, suppliers and manufacturers, as members of the supply chain, can feel safe with Furmark® knowing that all stages of the supply chain are subject to strict certification, third party assessment and traceability throughout the product life cycle. The traceability system was designed and developed by a team of independent experts with experience in textile traceability. The aim of this is to track the fur from its origin to the end point, ensuring the same level of trust and assurance at every stage of the supply chain for all involved.
Furmark® principles strive to operate with integrity at all times. In practice, this means that there is a special Code of Conduct for members of the supply chain. This includes commitment to the mission, specific objectives and strategic principles of Furmark®, as well as the requirement for accountability and transparency. Compliance is an essential part of Furmark® and ensures that organizations downstream in the supply chain make the same efforts as those upstream in the supply chain.
It is this combined commitment to all elements of the chain that help to redefine industry standards and thus ensure sustainable, more transparent and reliable trade continues unhindered.
What does the Furmark® supply chain look like?
At the very beginning, it is very important to distinguish between two types of fur: natural – wild fur and fur grown on farms. After that, skins and furs are selected for the tanning and dyeing process. The next process in this chain is done by the manufacturers themselves, who can also be small designers and work towards the final product – a fur coat or fashion accessory that is sent to retail, where the last step is selling the final product.
What are the benefits of Furmark® certification for customers?
Last year, the Forbes Business Council issued a statement saying that “there are an increasing number of demands regarding transparency in the fur industry” because customers in the 21st century demand full transparency in the supply chain, which includes all processes. Precisely because of this aspiration towards open communication with partners and customers, the International Fur Federation has created a system – Furmark®, which is designed to offer consumers peace of mind, knowing that animal welfare has been well considered. Sustainability is at the core of both systems: Furmark® and the Global Fur Trade System.
What are the benefits of Furmark® certification for manufacturers (brands and small designers)?
Furmark® uniquely transforms customer perceptions by offering complete transparency, traceability and security. Consumers desire Furmark®, and this was shown in an extensive consumer opinion survey conducted by the International Fur Federation in 2021. It was found that 70% of customers in 5 key markets (France, Italy, Spain, UK and USA) were willing to buy fur, and from these, 65% had a positive initial opinion of the Furmark® system. Of these, 28% of participants said they would consider purchasing a product that includes natural fur if it is Furmark® certified.
Therefore, Furmark® certified products have the potential to increase sales by more than 400%. Furmark® enables sales with complete confidence and the knowledge that quality and safety is met at every level.
Customers now have a unique opportunity to purchase and wear natural fur with the launch of the comprehensive Furmark® global certification and traceability system that guarantees animal welfare and environmental standards. To instill peace of mind in consumers, the International Fur Federation, with the contribution of LVMH Group, the world’s largest conglomerate of luxury goods and key brands, has helped develop the Furmark® certification system, where all products are easily traceable, verified and guaranteed to meet recognized standards. Furmark® will change the way customers see fur and open up some completely new and unexplored markets.
The Furmark® certificate fully responds to the baseless accusations of those who oppose fur. The fur industry is large and complex, but the International Fur Federation has seized the opportunity to bring together all industry leaders, scientists, sustainability advocates and environmentalists to agree on a set of principles and recognized standards based on science, independent inspection and transparency.
Furmark® certified products have a unique alphanumeric label code that provides complete traceability information such as: fur type, fur origin, animal welfare program, manufacturer information, and place of production. This ensures that consumers buy natural fur with full confidence.
Furmark® certification means monitoring and adhering to all consistent standards throughout the supply chain that include only wild and farmed natural fur from leading animal welfare programs sold through the auction system. Fully certified products must be processed by accredited partners who meet the standard (which covers the sustainability, use of chemicals, emissions and product safety) which includes third-party testing.
Furmark® certified products can only be manufactured by companies that have passed comprehensive inspections conducted by industry experts. Each step of the process is recorded through a traceability component that is available to the user, thus ensuring transparency throughout the supply chain.
Each animal welfare and sustainability program has a detailed, independently developed and science-based protocol or standard. Appropriate programs are then subject to the assessment of third parties who are certified by a recognized body. Strict, active application is ensured by regular visits and assessments: those who do not meet the standards will be excluded from the certification program and the Furmark® system.
Furmark® was created as a sign of trust and commitment to real fur. Its task is to confirm the value of sustainable natural fur. Responding to all the wishes and needs of consumers, a simple recognizable and global sign has been created – Furmark®. This unique system brings together all the leading independently verified animal welfare certification programs.
Developed in consultation with conscientious consumers and modern fashion groups and brands, the Furmark® symbol is a sign of guaranteed quality and trust. In order for consumers, retailers and brands to have complete security and confidence when buying fur, Furmark® combines independently verified certification programs within one system. Obtaining a certificate means that the international, national or regional program has met Furmark® global standards.
Finally, I would like to summarize some of the basic benefits of Furmark certified products:
1. Furmark® is a global certification and traceability system for natural fur that guarantees animal welfare and respect for all environmental standards.
2. Furmark® is simple with recognizable characteristics of quality, safety, and confidence that is of utmost importance to all members of the supply chain and customers.
3. Furmark® programs for animal protection and environmental protection are scientifically based, third-party certified and transparent.
4. Furmark® products are traceable, verified and guaranteed meet all necessary recognized standards.
5. Furmark® is the result of the joint efforts of fur industry members, brand representatives and consumers.
My dear fashion lovers, we have reached the end of this special post where we learned something new about sustainable fur fashion and sustainability, while respecting the environment! See you soon when we will continue our fashion adventures on the Mr.M blog!
I would like to take this unique opportunity to thank my mom for helping me take pictures for this post. Also, I would like to thank my associates for their selfless contribution to working together on this interesting topic which we have done for you.
If you have any questions, comments, suggestions or a message for me, you can write to me below in the comments. Of course, as always, you can contact me via email or social media channels, which you can find on the CONTACT page. I’ll see you soon!
With best regards,
This post is sponsored by International Fur Federation and represents my personal and honest review of Furmark® global certification and traceability system.
Dear Marko, this is a really nice article with important details about the continuation of the work in fur industry. I heard about the Furmark traceability and certification program, but I didn’t know when it would actually start working. I am a big fan of fur and I am glad to see people like you who talk about fur with great enthusiasm. We haven’t seen you and your mom together in blog posts for a while and this is a wonderful opportunity to see you together today! Your mom is a amazing lady and it is clear to many when… Read more »
When I got the newsletter today and saw you and your mom together, I had to put work aside and just read your blog post! I am impressed with all the information you shared with us today and it is finally possible to trace the fur, it happened to me that I bought low quality fur and had no one to complain to, and I paid those fur coats in Italy don’t ask me how much I still have the headache… This will finally shed light on some things the world of fashion. This is good for the whole fashion… Read more »
Ciao Marko, I hope you are well! You and your mom look just amazing, it can be seen from your pictures that you are great and true fur lovers. You are also one of the proofs that fur coats are not only for women, but also that men can wear and look beautiful in fur as well! I hope that Furmark will finally make it easier to work in the fashion industry, she is aware of how many fashion houses have stopped working with fur due to numerous problems, but I sincerely hope that this will change! I wish you… Read more »
Caro Marko, tu e tua madre siete fantastici! Mi piace molto il tuo cappotto di pelliccia! Chissà se ti capita di lavorare con un brand che realizza abiti e accessori moda in vera pelle di coccodrillo? Siamo interessati a lavorare con te se desideri sostenerci. Grazie in anticipo, Antonio
Hallo Marko, viele Grüße an dich und deine Mama! Du siehst wunderbar aus, deine Mutter ist eine sehr schöne Frau mit Stil und ich liebe es, so schön gepflegte Frauen auf der Straße zu sehen. Sie besitzen eine besondere positive Energie und zusammen sind Sie ein fantastisches Paar! Können Sie mir sagen, ob Sie gute Kürschner in Berlin kennen, ich möchte gerne eine kurze Nerzjacke nach Maß bestellen? Danke!
Dear Marko, your post is interesting and gives numerous answers to questions about further work in the fur industry with the help of Furmark. I sincerely hope that the fur will really come back and that it will be like in the good golden ages when Burberry, Versace and many other famous brands used real fur. Faux fur is not a solution because it is not healthy and pollutes the environment, and it is not environmentally friendly as some people love to say! Well done for your voice of reason and I want you to keep acting like that!
You two are very sweet to me, I just missed your mom on the blog, I haven’t seen you together for a long time! It can be seen that your mom helped you grow up with style! I love mink fur, especially dark brown short jackets like yours! I hope you show us some new furs soon! Stay safe and healthy!
I would love for my mom to take a pictures like this with me, but she is so shy! Your mom is a beautiful, real elegant lady with refined fashion taste and you can see that she has a great style! When I saw her fur coats and her bags I was so envy, the woman is living the life of my dreams!
Hi Marko, I am glad that the Furmark certification program has started, there has been a lot of talk about it, but it was never known exactly the beginning of the implementation of this certification. All praise for your mom and you, you look fantastic and I would love to see you more often together as you used to. Greetings from Prague!
Wonderful post Marko! You can see how much effort you put into your blog and I am glad that you used your influence to dedicate yourself to a delicate and sensitive topic such as the use of natural fur in the fashion industry. I am a person who loves animals and respects them, but I also love fur coats of various types of fur. Many people are cynical, advocate for animal rights, while eating meat on their plate. Glad to see your mom after a long time, both of you look just fantastic, the plastic surgeon did a great job!… Read more »
Dear Marko this is really an exceptional post, despite the honest and educational article, I had the opportunity to see your mother’s amazing collection of fur coats and bags!!!!! I really like her fur coats, and I won’t even comment on Fendi and Dior bags! These perfections are on my wish list for a long time!