WORDS BY KATIE HILL
Though faux fur can be dated back to the 1920s it is perhaps our fondness of ‘90s fashion that has increased its popularity recently. Think back to those over-the-top furry accessories and neon-hued faux-fur jackets.
Thankfully, improvements have been made since then. We are stepping away from matted orange fur and into the soft, grown-up and sometimes even subtle style of faux-fur coats today.
What is faux fur?
With the ‘70s came the red paint of the animal rights groups, and so faux fur upped its game. Typically made from synthetic fibres, this man-made fabric initially intended to replicate an animal’s fur but today creations like the teddy bear coat prove that this is not necessarily the case anymore.
Is faux fur sustainable and ethical?
Yes and no. We know that it’s cruelty-free but do the ethical implications weigh out the environmental impact of faux fur? That’s up to you to decide. Brands like Apparis and Stand Studio are making strides when it comes to sustainable fashion by using recycled polyester and plant-based fibres to create their faux fur. They also minimise waste, opt for organic dyes and offer their products in small-batch drops. The true test is that they are PETA certified and recommended - you can't argue with that.
Of course, it also has to be noted that you yourself can increase the sustainability of a coat by keeping and wearing it for longer — something you’re much more likely to do if it’s better quality.
Is a faux-fur coat warm?
Save yourself from the bitter cold of winter whilst also saving the animals. Faux fur might not always match up to its real counterpart but it’s definitely one of the cosier styles of outerwear.
Excuse us while we get a little scientific, much like real fur, faux fur traps air creating a blanket of insulation – thus keeping you warm. For colder climates it’s worth opting for long faux-fur coats that are fully lined and with a thicker pile.
How to wash and care for faux-fur coats?
For the most part, dry cleaning your faux-fur coat is the wisest option — but even then, you should approach with caution. When you hand over your beloved coat it’s worth mentioning that faux fur does not react well to heat.
You can also take on the task yourself at home, though we wouldn’t recommend this for shaggier long-haired styles as they are prone to knotting — and who has time for that? Wash by hand with a gentle detergent (or even hair conditioner) in cool water. Drip dry and do not iron.
Who makes the best faux-fur coats?
Now that’s a good question. It comes down to your individual needs. For classic vintage fur vibes, Unreal Fur and La Seine & Moi (both PETA-approved)are no brainers. Ranging from leopard coats to classic cropped white faux-fur coats (perfect for winter weddings) these labels follow Karl Lagerfeld's mantra — ‘You cannot fake chic, but you can be chic in fake fur’.
For something a little less realistic and a bit more surreal, Gucci and Bottega Veneta are here to provide. Think giant houndstooth prints in crisp black and white, or perhaps you’d prefer a tasseled yellow teddy coat? Whichever column you fall in, you’ll be making a statement without sacrificing on warmth.
And then, of course, there’s the shearling, faux shearling that is. We know Stella McCartney (PETA-approved) has been championing cruelty-free fashion and sustainability since before it was cool and her faux-fur coats for women are testament to that. Beautifully soft and luxuriously plush, the Stella McCartney options are some of the most stylish (and most snuggly) around.
Stand Studio also comes through with the faux-fur jackets and coats — and there’s always a sense of fun to them. Think pink faux-fur jackets and oversized teddy coats.