Are Faux Fur Blankets Eco-Friendly?

Faux fur has long been the friend of anyone who baulks at the thought of wearing the real thing, but still wants to enjoy the feeling of luxury that accompanies wearing fur, or using it in soft furnishings. Faux fur blankets make great throws, and are ideal for kids and babies as they look good, and feel as soft as real fur. The reasons for choosing faux fur over the real thing include cost and ethics, and more recently environmental concerns.

There is a lot of debate around whether or not faux fur is really more eco-friendly than using real fur, with some people arguing that faux fur uses environmentally unfriendly manufacturing processes, and relies on petrochemicals. A recent study from environmental research and consultancy organisation CE Delft shows that there is less environmental impact from producing faux fur than from mink farming, and the process of making real fur garments and blankets.

The study looked at the environmental impact not only of the products themselves, but also the impact over their whole lifecycle from manufacture to final disposal. It compared a faux fur coat with a mink coat, and a mink fur trim with a faux fur trim, and the results revealed that there is a significantly higher overall environmental impact from the mink fur than the faux fur.

Production

This study revealed that the production processes for making faux fur have a much lower environmental impact than keeping and feeding the mink required to make one mink coat. Although the production processes for faux fur do create CO2 emissions, they are still below the quantity created by farming mink and producing real fur products.

Maintenance

With both types of fur, maintenance is required to maintain its condition. The study compared the maintenance needed for one fur coat with that required for one faux fur coat. It found that with cleaning and cold storage the maintenance for the real fur was more environmentally damaging than that of the faux fur.

Faux fur is relatively straightforward to maintain and only requires washing yearly, which can be done in a machine on a delicate cycle or by hand for longer-haired faux fur. The cleaning process for real fur wasn’t shown to be significantly more environmentally damaging than fake fur, but cold storage for a few months each year increased the carbon footprint dramatically.

According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the production of real fur is a significant contributor to local environmental pollution in a number of countries, including China and the US. The main problems include waste from mink farms polluting soil and waterways, and the release of ammonia into the air. The processing of fur also produces hazardous waste, which is not always disposed of in an ethical and environmentally aware manner.

The advantages of faux fur are numerous, and it is no wonder that more people are turning to this great, versatile material for clothing, trim and soft furnishings. Faux fur is particularly suited to use in stylish and cosy blankets and faux fur blankets are a great gift idea for a new baby or to use to keep warm in the winter. With faux fur, you can be secure in the knowledge that your products are completely cruelty free and know that you are making the environmentally friendly choice.

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