Skip to main content

To Fur or not to Fur: Sustainable Production and Consumption Within Animal-Based Luxury and Fashion Products

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Textiles and Clothing Sustainability

Part of the book series: Textile Science and Clothing Technology ((TSCT))


We live in the age of information technology where information travels faster than the speed of light. When a slightly inclined sustainable consumer searches for ethical fashion and luxury brands, they are easily bombarded with advertisements and information. The ongoing trends in adopting sustainable consumer lifestyles, being green and ethical, add to the lustre of modern-day consumers. But despite the awareness, an alarming increase of 70 % in the global sales of the fur industry in the past decade has contradicted the sustainable luxury and fashion movement. Where on the one hand, 100 % fur-free fashion companies like Stella McCartney, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klien and Ralph Lauren are setting an example in the fashion industry. But on the other hand, companies like Gucci, Donna Karan and Karl Lagerfeld have made fur as their forefront in the fashion shows. Interestingly, in the luxury industry the big quest has been about understanding if sustainability and luxury can co-exist and how sustainability can be defined in the realms of luxury? But it is difficult for consumers to adhere to a reference point when it comes to using sustainable animal-based products. In general, the supply chain and fair trade has been an important aspect of eco-fashion products but how does it fit for animal-based products like fur is not well understood. The luxury and fashion industry caters to both sustainable and non-sustainable consumptions. In this chapter, we unfold the realities of the fur and faux fur industry. We examine what has led to the come back of fur within the age of sustainable luxury and fashion through interviews from the industry experts and secondary literature. Developing on the industry data and interviews we show the technicalities from production and consumption cycle of the fur industry. We explore the consumer profiles into the consumption of fur and faux fur products. We elucidate how men and women differ within these consumption patterns.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

USD 16.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 89.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD 119.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions


  • Avnis, J. (2015). There’s actually a way to feel good about wearing fur. Accessed February 3, 2016.

  • BASF. (2010). Pocket book for the leather technologist, 4th Ed. Revised and enlarged. Accessed February 2, 2016.

  • Bearden, W. O., Netemeyer, R. G., & Teel, J. E. (1989). Measurement of consumer susceptibility to interpersonal influence. Journal of Consumer Research, pp. 473–481

    Google Scholar 

  • Beard, N. D. (2008). The branding of ethical fashion and the consumer: A luxury niche or mass-market reality? Fashion Theory, 12(4), 447–467.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bijleveld, M., Korteland, M., & Sevenster, M. (2011). The environmental impact of mink fur production Delft, CE Delft. Available via Accessed March 11, 2016.

  • Bolton, A. (2004). Wild: Fashion untamed. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bukszpan, D. (2015). How fur became a fashion favorite again. Accessed February 15, 2016.

  • Connecticut Furs Inc. (2010). Making a fur garment. Accessed February 12, 2016.

  • Dawkins, M. S. (1980). Animal suffering: The science of animal welfare. London: Chapman and Hall.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Dawkins, M. S. (1990). From an animal’s point of view: Motivation, fitness and animal welfare. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 13, 1–61.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • DSS Management Consultants Inc. (2012). Report submitted to IFTF. Available via Accessed March 22, 2016

  • Duncan, I. J., & Petherick, J. C. (1991). The implications of cognitive processes for animal welfare. Journal of Animal Science, 69, 5017–5022.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Earthshift. (2016). Accessed March 1, 2016.

  • ESDAW®—European Society of Dog and Animal Welfare. (2016). Accessed March 5, 2016.

  • European Fur Information Center. (2016). Accessed February 10, 2016.

  • Fur Institute of Canada. (2016). Accessed March 20, 2016.

  • Gagnon Thompson, S. C., & Barton, M. A. (1994). Ecocentric and anthropocentric attitudes toward the environment. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 14, 149–157.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gintis, H., Bowles, S., Boyd, R., & Fehr, E. (2007). Explaining altruistic behavior in humans. In R. Dunbar & L. Barrett (Eds.), Handbook of evolutionary psychology (pp. 605–620). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Griskevicius, V., Tybur, J. M., & Van den Bergh, B. (2010). Going green to be seen. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98(3), 392–404. doi:10.1037/a0017346.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gyetvai, Z. (2012). G-28 (buildings)/G-26 (products) choice of environmental indicators—Complete LCA. Accessed May 14, 2016.

  • Hansen, H. O. (2014). The global fur industry: Trends, globalization and specialization. Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology. A4, 543–551. ISSN 1939-1250.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hansen, N. E., Creutzberg, A., & Simonsen, H. B. (1991). Killing of mink (Mustela vison) by means of carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon mono-oxide (CO) and Nitrogen (N2). British Veterinary Journal, 147, 140–146.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC). (2016). Accessed March 5, 2016.

    Google Scholar 

  • International Fur Federation (IFF). (2016). Accessed March 9, 2016.

  • ISO 14040. (2006). Environmental management. Life cycle assessment—Principles and framework. Geneve: International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).

    Google Scholar 

  • ISO 14044. (2006). Environmental management. Life cycle assessment—Requirements and guidelines. Geneve: International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).

    Google Scholar 

  • Knight, D. K., & Kim, E. Y. (2007). Japanese consumers need for uniqueness: Effects on brand perceptions and purchase intention. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management., 11(2), 270–280.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kopenhagenfur. (2016). Accessed January 30, 2016.

  • Miller, G. F. (2000). The mating mind: How sexual choice shaped the evolution of human nature. New York, NY: Doubleday.

    Google Scholar 

  • Orange, R. (2014). Fur trade booms, fuelled by China—But bubble may be about to burst. Available via

  • Peterson, L. A. (2010). Detailed discussion of fur animals and fur production. Michigan State University College of Law. Available via Accessed March 12, 2016.

  • Rokeach, M. (1973). The nature of human values. New York: Free Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sojuzpushnina. (2016). Accessed March 22, 2016.

  • Ruvio, A., Shoham, A., & Brencic, M. M. (2008). Consumers’ need for uniqueness: Short-form scale development and cross cultural validation. International Marketing Review, 25(1), 33–53.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ryan, H. Z. (2008). Uniqueness and innovativeness: A look at controversial men’s fashion products. Perth: Curtin Business School, Curtin University of Technology.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tian, K. T., Bearden, W. O., & Hunter, G. L. (2001). Consumers need for uniqueness: Scale development and validation. Journal of Consumer Research, 28, 50–66.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • USEPA. United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2016). Defining life cycle assessment. Accessed May 12, 2016.

  • USITC. United states International Trade Commission. (2004). Industry and trade summary. Publication number 3666, Furskins.

    Google Scholar 

  • Williams, A. S. (2009). Life cycle analysis: A step by step approach. ISTC Reports. TR-040. Accessed March 14, 2016.

  • Wikipedia. (2016). Accessed March 12, 2016.

  • Zahavi, A. (1975). Mate selection: Selection for a handicap. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 53, 205–214.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mukta Ramchandani .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2017 Springer Science+Business Media Singapore

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Ramchandani, M., Coste-Maniere, I. (2017). To Fur or not to Fur: Sustainable Production and Consumption Within Animal-Based Luxury and Fashion Products. In: Muthu, S. (eds) Textiles and Clothing Sustainability. Textile Science and Clothing Technology. Springer, Singapore.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Singapore

  • Print ISBN: 978-981-10-2130-5

  • Online ISBN: 978-981-10-2131-2

  • eBook Packages: EngineeringEngineering (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics