Faux fur vs. natural seal fur: what’s better for the environment?
It’s true that faux fur has come a long way in recent years. Some high-end, high-priced fake products can be glossy and fluffy and almost look like the real deal. It’s enough to make one wonder: is faux fur a better choice than real fur? Could the human-made product be better for the environment than animal fur?
The simple answer is No. Especially when compared to natural seal fur, the choice is not even close. It comes down to material, quality, and overall sustainability.
A very material issue
Faux fur is usually made from acrylic, a petroleum-based product—basically a plastic—made via energy-intensive industrial processes and requiring centuries to degrade in a landfill.
It is also a contributor to microfibre contamination: microfibres from acrylic, polyester, rayon, and other synthetic textiles are a growing source of ocean pollution. These fibres are too small to be captured by sewage treatment plants and other filters—but large enough to wreak havoc on the ocean’s food chain.
Natural fur, on the other hand, is exactly that: natural. While it may be processed for preservation purposes, wild fur remains close it its natural state. For this reason, it also degrades quickly in a landfill, and will not contribute to long-lasting pollution. That is, if it even makes it to the landfill.
A question of quality
Of course, you can purchase natural fur products that are not as well-made as others. And you can invest in a piece of high-end faux fur fashion that may last years. But by and large, it’s the natural fur products that you can count on to be passed down from generation to generation. Check Etsy or any vintage shop and you’ll see quality, gorgeous leather and furs that have been well loved and well worn. Most faux fur products are fast fashion and designed to last a season and discarded.
Processed properly, and in the hands of a talented craftsperson or artisan, seal fur clothing and other products will last a lifetime or more. Seal fur also has the advantage of offering natural durability, warmth, and wind and water protection—no plastic or chemical coatings required. Faux fur just doesn’t have the same practical value.
Sustainable seal fur
It is always ideal, environmentally and ethically, to use all parts of an animal that is harvested. Traditionally, Indigenous peoples who have long hunted seal have always had the cultural intention to use the whole animal, as an important source of food, oil, and textiles.
Today’s seal harvest continues in the same spirit, with viable markets for seal meat, oil, and pelts. Importantly, seal populations that are currently harvested are healthy, and increasing. The harvest is completed according to strict management regulations and limits determined by the Government of Canada.
The choice is clear. Seal fur is natural, organic, sustainably sourced, and biodegradable. Faux fur, made from non-renewable resources, is none of these things.
Visit our online store to discover the range of seal fur color currently available.