It’s official: fur is out! And these faux fur designers are making fake chic.
By Marianna Tugareva
Long, long ago, before the invention of the loom, wearing animal fur was pretty much the only way for a human in the northern hemisphere to survive cold winter weather. Unfortunately, very old habits die hard and fur is still seen as the ne plus ultra in luxury fashion.
Some even use it in completely superfluous (and extremely impractical) ways, such as for handbags and shoes, or worse, for mere trinkets (yes, Fendi, we are referring to the ‘Karlito’ key fob).
While some may find Gucci’s ‘Chewbacca’ fur slippers appealing or may think nothing of plunking a shearling bag down on coffee-stained bistro table, an increasing number of luxury consumers are shunning fur when they realise its true moral and environmental cost.
Understanding that hundreds of thousands of animals are killed (often brutally) to feed the vanity of a handful of people has turned more and more people away from this Stone Age habit. It’s time for something more progressive and fashion-forward – modern faux fur not only looks luxurious, but it feels lighter on the body and in the heart.
Here, we’ve found some fabulous faux fur designers who are dedicated to cruelty-free designs for winter.
Our Fave Faux Fur Designers Making Fake Chic
This is a high fashion minded line of eco-friendly, low-waste faux fur coats and jackets that look incredibly glamorous but are blissfully guilt-free. The label understands that women still want to wear fake fur coats – but not ones made from nasty chemicals and plastics. So instead, House of Fluff creates their designs from recycled plastic hangers, dyed with natural dyes. They also use recycled hang tags, recycled packing materials, and any extra fabric goes into making “scrappies,” the kooky faces you see on scarves and hoodies.
2. Faz Not Fur
After struggling to find cruelty-free outerwear that still captured the beauty of actual animal fur, designer Paris based Nadja Axarlis decided it was time to launch Faz Not Fur.
Every piece in her collection is made at a small Parisian atelier from European-sourced faux fur. The result is downy-soft, silky fake fur outerwear that’s plush and ultra luxurious.
When it comes to fashion and fur, N’ONAT is making cruelty-free fur the most desirable option, by far. Catering to consumers looking to purchase guilt-free luxury coats and jackets, the distinctive, high-quality fabrics used by the brand are setting the bar high in terms of faux fur, making it almost indistinguishable in both aesthetics and texture to its real counterparts.
From stitch to sale, the mission behind N’ONAT is to enable their customers to dress fashionably all while making cruelty-free choices. And the best part? The brand donates a portion of their annual revenues to various animal rights organisations.
Rising fashion star Hannah Weiland is one of the best faux fur designers we know. She tirelessly explores the playful side of ethical design. British and witty, she exposes the true nature of fake fur: rather than pretending it’s real, she infuses her designs with completely artificial colours that are non-existent in the animal world. She gets gently funky and somewhat goofy with these daring pieces, some of which tend to dwell on the border of Pop Art.
5. Spirit Hoods
This is the perfect brand for animal lovers. The LA based label encourages you to channel your ‘spirit animal’, or the animal you seem to be most like, and wear their ‘fur’ to represent that. But in addition to saving actual animals by using stuffed-toy style fake fur instead of real in their collections, Spirit Hoods also donates 10% of all profits towards animal conservation charities. No wonder PETA highly endorses the brand!
In her autumn/winter collection, Stella introduced gargantuan, shaggy faux fur coats, each prominently labelled via an external tag with just that slogan, just in case anyone may get the wrong idea.
The vegetarian designer has long used vegan suede and leather in her collections, but had doubts about using faux fur: “I’d done fake fur many, many years ago, and I’d really questioned whether it was appropriate to do it and if it was necessary. Because fake fur now looks so real, I was afraid that I was promoting real fur, but I created these fur-free labels that will be on the outside of products so you can actually tell people it’s not,” she said in an interview with Vogue.
Indeed, many animal lovers wonder if it is a good idea to wear ‘real’ looking fake fur for this very reason too, but we think it’s great that Stella’s tags make the origins of the fabric clear!
7. Only Me
Given their extreme climate and historical love affair with fur, Russians have long been prejudiced against faux fur, ridiculing it as “fish fur,” translated as meaning it’s a colder and cheaper substitute for the real thing. The status quo in Russian fashion pretty much remained animal-unfriendly until a new vegan brand called Only Me introduced a truly fabulous faux fur collection.
Only Me coats are insulated with a heat-retaining, breathable material called Thinsulate, which provides more warmth than real fur does; consequently, the toasty collection for harsh Russian winters became an instant hit! The brand’s key designer is the multi-talented actress and influencer Sati Kazanova, whose ethical view on fashion is now spreading throughout Russia and beyond, since Only Me ships worldwide.
8. Maison Atia
This ethically made brand is based in NYC, and is proud of the fact that for every coat purchased, a puppy or kitten is saved. Yep, that’s right: every coat sold provides a homeless puppy or kitten transportation to a no-kill shelter, where they can hopefully be given a forever home.
We love Maison Atia for not only this, but for their ultra-cool, rock-chick chic styles.
Dagmar’s ‘furs’ are made from ethical mohair, sourced using special shaving techniques that’s very gentle on the animal. The effect is fur-like, but fully sustainable and cruelty-free. Sold online at Orchard Mile, these super warm jackets, sweaters and scarves are a favourite with American fashionistas.
Looking for a faux fur designer brand that’s kind to animals AND the planet? Look no further than Culthread! The British based label promises that all of their coats are handcrafted from fine fabrics like waxed cotton and recycled textiles.
And get this: their insulation in their fake-fur lined puffer jackets comes from Thermore 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. Animal-friendly fur, eco-friendly fabrics, and awesome British design…what’s not to love?
Main image: Maison Attia