The Fur Guru leaves 2018 wiser and resilient. Like the rest of the fur trade, the Fur Guru has much to be thankful for and much to look forward to looking to the future. So, what better way to end the year than with the words of the fur trade, starting with IFF CEO, Mark Oaten:
So, I guess as we look back on 2018, it’s been tough at times with some big-name brands going fur-free. But the IFF has been fighting back hard and we have a great message on natural real fur being part of the solution against plastic and fake fur alternatives. We are extremely proud to be developing a strong sustainability message and at the same time Furmark, our new global certification program, will give brands and consumers the reassurance needed on animal welfare.
Our Fur Now campaign and partnership with Vogues all around the world has shown once again how amazing the latest fur designs look. Meaning we can be optimistic as we enter 2019 – a year to look forward to as we step up our campaigns and spread the word that natural fur is the responsible choice.
Michael Menger from NAFA also has some words of encouragement for the fur trade:
NAFA ends 2018 with a collective sense of achievement, having unified the North American mink farmers and acquired the Blackglama label. We were able to sell over 10 million mink, at fully competitive prices, with strong clearances throughout. All of this kept NAFA profitable for the year.
NAFA is optimistic for the future, in particular, in 2019 we look forward to the continued demand for our superior quality offerings. We believe that our mink is the easiest to retail, making them the safest purchases for our high-end customers. Furthermore, certain articles of our unique wild fur collection continue to be in demand.
Fur Europe Mette Lykke Nielsen, take the state:
2018 was a year of many challenges, but Fur Europe end it knowing that the European fur sector is getting closer to fulfilling its real potential to be sustainable and responsible.
We fought tough fights together with our members at the national level and once again overcame much of the opposition with resilience, proactivity and openness.
We continued the implementation of WelFur on the European farms. More importantly, we saw farmers, agricultural producers, politicians and brands praising WelFur for its scientific robustness and the ability to document animal welfare on fur farms.
In 2019, we are hopeful that we can go further the path of sustainable and development with the publication of the Fur Environmental Credentials Report which will out help us lead on sustainability and with the finalisation of WelFur certification across mink, fox and finnraccoon farms in Europe.
SAGA Furs Perti Fallenius also has some words of encouragement:
Saga Furs ends the 2018 year with a great sense of pride. It was 80 years ago that the company was founded and 30 years ago when the Saga Design Centre was opened. Based on these long traditions it has been a great journey to develop our business with our fur and fashion partners. Creativity, innovation, sustainability and Certification have always been at the core of our business. It is now already 10 years ago when we signed the UN Global Compact which abled us to position Saga Furs as the leader in sustainability, helping to raise the bar on responsible and transparent business practices.
Looking back at these milestones it gives me a great pleasure to acknowledge that our hard work in trade development, craftsmanship and sustainability are paying off. Through Saga Certification with WelFur inside, and our Saga Traceability System (STS) we can guarantee sustainable and transparent supply chain to our customers. For example, the increase in STS report requests gives us a clear positive sign: we are able to provide the brands and fashion trade with the support, transparency and confidence that they need secure their business.
Through our Fur Vision tour in the major fashion cities around the globe, we met many younger generation designers who are increasingly concerned about sustainability issues. Fur as a natural, biodegradable material perfectly aligns with this philosophy of responsible luxury. With these thoughts in mind I look forward to 2019. It will not be an easy year but if we, at Saga and all the players in our industry, work together we can secure a bright future for fur – we are eagerly looking forward to the next milestones, our 90+40+20 celebrations!
Kopenhagen Furs Jesper Lauge Christensen concludes our 2018 round up with some positive thoughts:
First off, 2018 has marked a big change for me personally. I’m excited to be able to speak for the first time as a member of the select group of fur house managing directors, having taken over as the CEO of Kopenhagen Fur on 1 December. Although I may be a new face in that context, I am an old hand in the fur trade with a focus on innovation and sustainability throughout my entire career.
That holds true from my earliest work, where I did research on reducing the impact of agriculture on groundwater, to my time at Kopenhagen Fur. Here, I oversaw innovations in robotics to help us stay globally competitive whilst remaining in Denmark, close to our farmers.
Later, I worked with those farmers to improve the availability and quality of skins.
The past year also has been challenging in other ways. Skin prices are not what we wish they were, and the market is still rebalancing. Yet I am pleased that Kopenhagen Fur managed to deliver a small profit for our owners, the Danish fur breeders, even in a difficult market.
In 2019, we will continue our work to expand the customer base for fur, even in existing markets like China, but such developments take time to bear fruit. Kopenhagen Fur is going to stay focused on delivering the necessary quality for customers, with perhaps the biggest value we can provide being that lots of skins bought from us are uniform and consistent.
Another main mission for Kopenhagen Fur next year is to continue the rollout of WelFur.
We remain on track to sell only WelFur skins in 2020. It’s a certification that is needed more and more, with consumers demanding high animal welfare, transparency, traceability, and new reasons to buy fur.
Right now, we have 96% of the farmers in Europe signed up for WelFur, which is amazing, and in 2019 Kopenhagen Fur is seeking to make sure all such farms pass muster and can deliver skins for our 2020 auction season.
Lastly, Kopenhagen Fur will continue to work closely with the rest of fur trade, living up to our Scandinavian ideal of cooperative environmental responsibility. We’ll do that by promoting the reduction of chemical usage in making fur garments as well as spreading the message to consumers that fur is a long-lasting and sustainable fashion choice.