In response to calls from British fashion designers for the United Kingdom to ban the sale of natural fur, the Natural Fibers Alliance recently said that plastic is not fashionable and any such decision would set the UK back in its efforts to improve environmental sustainability. Moreover, the move could be seen as a ‘cynical attempt’ by businesses to use the government to harm their competition, it said.
The Natural Fibers Alliance is a new environmental justice coalition that represents the interests of wool, leather, fur and other naturally-produced materials.
Following lobbying efforts from a small group of activists, several British designers, including Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, and Erdem Moralioglu, recently requested British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ban the sale of natural fur in the United Kingdom.
The Alliance said in a statement that synthetic clothing is one of the top global polluters of waterways. Researchers estimate that synthetic fabrics alone are responsible for up to 35 percent of microplastic pollution in oceans. Synthetic clothing ‘sheds’ micro-particles when cleaned, whereas natural fibres are a sustainable and renewable resource.
“Designers should know freedom of expression, freedom of choice, and sustainability are vital in fashion,” commented Mike Brown, head of sustainability and communications at the Natural Fibers Alliance. “Their advocacy in favour of plastic clothing is tacky and short-sighted.”