Fur organisation launches traceability scheme

The International Fur Federation (IFF) has launched Furmark, a global certification and traceability system that it claims will help to guarantee animal welfare and environmental standards.

The scheme – based on the use of unique QR codes on swing tag labels that when scanned will provide information on the provenance of a fur garment – uses web-based software supplied by ChainPoint.

It will allow fur-based products to be traced back through the supply chain, from the farm or wild source through auction houses, dressers and dyers, finished garment manufacturers and retailers, allow certification by the end-consumer.

While many consumers and fashion brands have started to eschew fur for animal welfare reasons – designer labels like Gucci, Chanel, Versace, Armani, Coach and Prada have gone fur-free in recent years – it retains a diehard consumer base and still has a following in countries like China, Russia and the US.

The IFF argues that unlike fake fur made of synthetic materials, natural fur is sustainable and biodegradable, and Furmark guarantees that products have met globally-agreed standards for sourcing, welfare, environmental protection and sustainability.

For example, customers who buy the certified garments can be confident that their purchase has been dressed and dyed in facilities that are subject to third-party checks.

IFF chief executive Mark Oaten said: "This is a game-changer: if people had doubts about buying or wearing natural fur, then they have been answered with Furmark."

He added: "Our centuries-old trade is undergoing its most significant transformation to date; traceable, sustainable products represent the real alternative to ‘fast fashion’. It guarantees animal welfare and environmental standards and demonstrates our shared ambition to deliver a transparent, easy-to-understand certification. It means, in short, that people can confidently buy sustainable natural fur."

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