What does ethical fur mean?

September 30, 2014 1 Comment

What does ethical fur mean?

Responsible sourcing at Tallis

Fur is a beautiful, high performance material which needs to be sourced responsibly.   All Tallis products are made from responsibly sourced fur.  What does that mean?  We think it comes down to saying yes to two questions.  Do you know where the fur has come from and how the product was made?  And; would you be comfortable wearing it based on what you know?  To us, it’s about enabling our customers to make an informed decision based on what criteria are important to them.  We describe clearly on each product page how we’ve sourced the fur and why we trust it.  What constitutes a trust-worthy source for Tallis?  It should either:

  • Minimise waste – using by-products and surplus fur, or re-manufacturing vintage pieces
  • Where using specifically farmed fur, we only accept fur from SAGA certified farms (see below) 

Types of ethical fur

All the fur in the current Tallis collection falls into one of the following categories:

Food industry by-products 

This is fur which comes from animals which have been bred for their meat.  The pelt or skin of the animal is a by-product when the meat is produced and can be used as a raw material in clothing or home textiles.  Examples of this include sheepskin or cow hide leather from livestock.  On the other hand, wool comes from shearing the live sheep or goat, not using its skin; but note that wool can come from the annual shearing of animals being raised for their meat, and so still be intrinsically linked to the food industry.

Food industry fur in collection: sheepskin


Re-manufactured vintage fur products 

This is fur we get from vintage fur garments sourced in England and Switzerland via re-sellers.  Fur can last 100 years, we select only items which have been well cared for so that the hide remains soft and pliable for the re-manufacturing process.  We only use vintage fur which is more than 25 years old.

Vintage fur in collection: mink, goatskin


Reclaimed fur from environmental management programmes 

New Zealand Possum : In 1837, possums were introduced to New Zealand from Australia.  With no natural predators and an abundance of vegetation, possums continue to have a huge impact on their non-native New Zealand.  As a result, the Department of Conversation commits resources to control their population.  Read more from the New Zealand Government Department of Conservation.

Swiss Red Fox : Following the extinction of the wolf, lynx and bear in Switzerland, and a successful vaccination project by the Swiss government, the native red fox has thrived in the absence of natural population controls.  In order to healthily regulate the species, a control system has been introduced by the government.  The fur is typically destroyed and wasted, so the Swiss Association of Professional Furriers has begun to buy and promote it as an alternative fur for fashion.  Read more from the Swiss Fur Association.

By-product fur in collection: possum, Swiss red fox


Pre-consumer surplus 

Some of the sheepskin that we use for our hats comes from surplus (odd shaped ends and small pieces) from a UK manufacturer of sheepskin garments.

Pre-consumer surplus fur in collection: sheepskin


Higher welfare certified farms 

Supported by the SAGA auction house, the Finnish Fur Breeders' Association (STKL) has been improving breeding standards in Finnish farms since 2005.  Farms are certified by showing documentation and continuous improvement of breeding standards.  The certification is being brought in line with ISO14001, the international standard for environmental management.  The criteria are similar to those you would expect from animals raised for their meat, the criteria address seven main areas:

1. Well-being and health of the animals    
2. Breeding conditions    
3. Feed maintenance    
4. Breeding     
5. Environmental management    
6. Farm hygiene    
7. Training and preparing for abnormal conditions

Fur from animals raised in this kind of environment is typically fuller, stronger and longer lasting than fur from animals raised to a lower standard.

As important as the standard itself, is the safe tracking of the resulting material from farm to garment.  We buy the raw materials from a supplier in London which traces the skin from the original auction house in lots.

Higher welfare fur in collection: Finn raccoon

1 Response


February 14, 2016

Wow! Thank you so much for posting that! You have found eellptionacxy great pieces!I like your blog and style very much!!!I look forward for more epic style!Love,Emily

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.