Humane Society UK finds top brands selling real fur disguised as faux fur

December 23, 2020 by  
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The Humane Society International (HSI) U.K. has warned shoppers to be wary of purchasing faux fur products online, even from leading brands including Amazon , eBay, Shein and Romwe, among others. This warning follows a recent HSI investigation, which revealed that online retailers are selling items labeled to contain faux fur despite actually including real fur. In the investigation, HSI’s undercover shoppers purchased various faux fur products; the items were then subjected to laboratory tests to determine whether they contain animal fur. As it turns out, most of the items were made with real fur. In the investigation, a beanie hat was purchased at £13.99 (about $18.79) from Amazon U.K., a pair of faux fur fluffy sliders at £16.99 (about $22.82) from eBay, a faux fur key chain from Shein at £2.49 (about $3.34), and faux fur pompom earrings, also £2.49, purchased from Shein were all found to contain real animal fur. Related: Denmark’s top fur cooperative is closing “Fur is cruel, which is why most Brits don’t want to buy it,” HSI Executive Director Claire Bass said. “So it’s really concerning that yet again we’ve found popular online shopping websites selling an alarming number of products described as faux fur which have turned out to be trimmed with real fur from fox, mink, raccoon, dog, and rabbit.” Other brands found to be selling misleading products include Just Your Outfit, Danielli and Boho Styles, all of which were found to sell “faux fur” products that contain real animal fur. Some products were even labeled “ vegan ” and “cruelty-free”. Fur farming is currently illegal in the U.K., but there is no ban on selling fur products. HSI has been running the Fur Free Britain campaign, which has gained momentum, with animal rights groups, celebrities and even politicians fighting to stop the sale of animal fur products entirely. “Fur-farming is rightly banned in the U.K., but for as long as animal fur from overseas is allowed to be sold here, we remain complicit in the cruelty, creating a minefield for shoppers who wholeheartedly reject that cruelty,” Bass said. “We urge the government to bring forward plans to implement a fur sales ban in the U.K. so that British consumers can trust that their ethical purchasing decisions are not in vain.” + Humane Society International Via VegNews Image via Marcus Bellamy

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Humane Society UK finds top brands selling real fur disguised as faux fur

Hungary announces preemptive ban on fur farms

December 2, 2020 by  
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Hungary’s ministerial commissioner of animal protection, Péter Óvári, announced this week that farming mink, foxes, ferrets and coypu will not be allowed in the country. These animals are not currently farmed there. But now that millions of mink have been slaughtered in other European countries due to COVID-19 concerns, Hungarian officials worried that fur farmers might try to move their operations to Hungary . “This is a precautionary measure that shuts the door to that happening, and that is a good outcome for human health and animal welfare ,” said Joanna Swabe, senior director of public affairs for Humane Society International (HSI) Europe, as reported by VegNews . Related: Denmark’s top fur cooperative is closing The COVID-19 virus has spread between animals on mink farms in some European countries, including Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Greece and Italy. Infected minks have been identified in at least 15 U.S. farms in Wisconsin, Michigan and Utah. Denmark and the Netherlands have slaughtered millions of mink to stop the spread of zoonotic disease . Health experts worry that the virus could mutate in the animals, which could spell disaster for vaccine development. The strange thing about Hungary’s decision is that while local farmers don’t raise mink, foxes, ferrets or coypu (aka nutria), they do raise chinchillas for fur and plan to continue doing so. “For as long as the animal exploitation of fur farming is tolerated, the potential for reservoirs of animal to human pathogens will persist,” Swabe said, “and so HSI hopes that the Hungarian government will also consider strengthening its ban by shutting down the country’s chinchilla fur farms too, and make fur farming history in Hungary.” Chinchillas are native to South America, but their extremely soft, luxurious fur has made them susceptible to international fur farmers who want to turn the sensitive, nocturnal creatures into coats and cash. A company called Wanger is responsible for much of the fur farming across southeast Europe, including in Hungary, Serbia and Bosnia. Activists have used the hashtag #stopwanger when protesting this company. Via VegNews , Respect for Animals Image via Jo-Anne McArthur

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Hungary announces preemptive ban on fur farms

3XN unveils Denmarks first climate-positive hotel for Bornholm island

December 2, 2020 by  
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On the tiny Danish island of Bornholm, Hotel Green Solution House (GSH) will raise its eco-friendly charms with a new climate-positive wing designed by Copenhagen-based firm 3XN and its green think-tank, GXN. Slated for completion in summer 2021, the new extension will be entirely built, clad and insulated with timber materials for a carbon-neutral footprint. The hotel wing will incorporate upcycled materials from construction offcuts for the furnishings and surfaces. Opened in 2015, Hotel GSH was designed by 3XN and GXN to serve as an inspiring leader in green hospitality. An all-timber build was selected for the new wing for a reduced carbon footprint ; according to the International Environment Agency, approximately 40% of the world’s carbon emissions are attributed to the construction industry, with steel and concrete responsible for a total of 16%. Related: Low-impact geodesic dome hotel immerses guests in Patagonian nature “It is a privilege to work with a developer who is completely uncompromising in her approach to sustainability and the circular economy . In this way, the project is making the impossible a reality,” said Kasper Guldager Jensen, architect and partner at 3XN and founder of GXN. “In addition to creating the foundation for a successful business, I hope that the new project can help to show others the potential of wood construction. If we in Denmark want to be able to achieve our climate goals, the construction industry needs to think and act differently, and there is therefore a great need for lighthouse projects like this.” The new hotel wing at Hotel GSH will feature 24 rooms, a conference room and a rooftop spa. In addition to the use of upcycled materials, debris from local granite quarries in Bornholm will be repurposed as temperature-regulating décor in the conference room. The timber building will reduce its energy footprint with operable windows that let in natural daylight and ventilation. All components of the building are designed with reversible joints so that they can be reused in the future rather than end up as demolition waste. Construction of the new hotel wing is expected to begin this fall. + 3XN Images via 3XN

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3XN unveils Denmarks first climate-positive hotel for Bornholm island

What to expect when switching to natural deodorant

December 2, 2020 by  
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Switching to a natural deodorant sounds easy enough, but with new products coming out every day and an uptick in posts related to “armpit detoxing” swarming social media in recent years, you may have a question or two about the process. What’s with the growing interest in natural deodorant? Well, traditional antiperspirants can contain ingredients like aluminum, which has been shown to cause “gene instability” in breast tissue that may lead to the growth of tumors or cancer cells. Although the National Cancer Institute website states that “no scientific evidence links the use of these products to the development of breast cancer,” even the idea that your deodorant can cause cancer is enough to make anyone nervous (the institute goes on to say that additional research is needed to determine whether a relationship between antiperspirants and cancer exists). Other concerning ingredients to look out for include parabens , triclosan, phthalates and artificial fragrances. Related: This skincare and natural deodorant is made from apple cider vinegar These traditional deodorant compounds essentially clog sweat ducts in order to block the sweat and odor from leaching through the skin, which may or may not be healthy, depending on who you ask. Either way, your armpits could always do with a little extra love. What is an armpit detox, and do you need one? Enter the armpit detox, the purpose of which is to rid the body of toxins that traditional antiperspirants leave behind over time in the sweat glands. Armpit detoxing can help wean a person off of duct-clogging antiperspirants and prepare them for a more natural approach toward botanical-based, natural deodorants. If you’re concerned about the idea of harmful chemicals like aluminum causing health issues , or if you just like the idea of adding more natural products into your beauty routine, it might be time for an armpit detox. Rebecca So, an expert in natural deodorant and armpit detoxing, says that while detoxing takes time and diligence, the results are worth it. Her company, Sway , makes natural deodorant with apple cider vinegar to restore the armpit’s natural pH balance, minimizing odor-causing bacteria. “Most natural deodorants are made with heavy baking soda, which is very alkaline. Since our skin is naturally acidic, many people might experience itchiness, irritation, and even rashes from using these natural deodorants,” So told Inhabitat. “That’s why SWAY is gentle on our skin since it is made with organic , raw apple cider vinegar. It works by balancing our skin’s pH.” The company makes a whole range of products that aid in the armpit detoxification process, including a freshening dusting powder that controls odor as well as a charcoal mask that helps adjust skin pH and removes product build-up to speed up the process. Other types of armpit detox masks, like ones containing calcium bentonite clay believed to draw out toxic build-ups in the armpits and even improve digestion and clear skin issues, have gained popularity. There are even probiotic-enhanced products that claim to balance your armpit’s skin microbiome. Ingredients are important We’ve already covered which ingredients to avoid, but with so many options for natural deodorants on the market, what ingredients should you be looking for? So says your best bet is with a water-based and residue-free option. “Most natural deodorants are heavy with starchy ingredients (tapioca, arrowroot powder), coconut oil, shea butter, which leaves residues or stains on our skin and clothes,” she explains. Look for something with natural, active ingredients like kaolin clay and eucalyptus that can neutralize underarm odor, as well as antibacterial ingredients like tea tree oil. Resources like EWG can help provide ratings for clean personal care products, too. Users can look up reviews for specific deodorant products as well as toxicity concern levels and animal testing policies . What to expect when transitioning to natural deodorant The side effects of armpit detoxing can be … well … stinky, and it can take up to a month for the body to regulate itself after coming off conventional antiperspirants. Underarm odor actually isn’t caused by sweat itself, but rather the bacteria that grows on sweat. The idea of detoxing is to remove the aluminum that has been plugging up your sweat glands and releasing waste that has been blocked. It’s a natural process, but it may come with some body odors that you may not be used to. “When going through the transition process, make sure you drink plenty of water, eat lots of fruits and vegetables,” So recommends. “And stick to one brand and one formula, and not switch around (e.g. don’t use one brand for days you want to go work out and days when you are chilling at home). This won’t help to adjust the pH of your skin.” Considering the sheer amount of natural deodorant products available today, it is easier than ever to make the switch. Plus, with social distancing in place, there’s never been a better time to spend a few weeks with less-than-ideal armpit smells as you transition to natural deodorant. Images via Adobe Stock

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Vegan Fashion Week is coming to Los Angeles

January 25, 2019 by  
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Just a few days before Fashion Week begins in New York, the world’s first Vegan Fashion Week will debut in Los Angeles. Starting on February 1 with a party at the LA Natural History Museum, Vegan Fashion Week will be a four-day event that will feature fashion shows, exhibitions, a talk from Nobel Prize-winning climate scientist Robert Lempert and discussion panels about topics like animal rights , social justice and technology. French stylist Emmanuelle Rienda is curating the event, and the theme will be “facing our time.” The idea is to explore the challenges of climate change through art, nature and science. Related: British Fashion Council commits to a fur-free London Fashion Week “Vegan Fashion Week will be a tribute to the animals and an ode to the end of animal exploitation in all forms,” Rienda told Dezeen . “I want to ignite conversations and debates within the industry by educating, elevating and drawing connections between our most important values: our respect for human life, animal rights and the environment.” Animal activist group PETA and the non-profit group Fashion Revolution are supporting the event, which hopes to bring vegan avant-garde fashion to Los Angeles . Organizers also aim to empower vegan designers and show that “cruelty-free is the new luxury.” In addition to the fashion show and discussion panels, there will also be a two-day fair at the California Market Center, where visitors can purchase vegan beauty products and designer pieces. Related: LA City Council unanimously agrees to ban the sale of fur Rienda admitted that the vegan label can come across as aggressive and judgmental, especially in the world of fashion. She is hoping that the vibe for the event will be “very inclusive and open.” Vegan designers and non-vegan brands looking to change their environmental impact will all be part of Vegan Fashion Week. Rienda said that it’s not about being vegan, it’s about what designers are doing to improve their labels and evolve. She added that being vegan isn’t just about the animals. Instead, it is about being good to humans and all other beings on the planet. Vegan Fashion Week will take place in locations throughout the Los Angeles area from February 1 to February 4. + Vegan Fashion Week Via Dezeen Image via Shutterstock

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Vegan Fashion Week is coming to Los Angeles

Faux fur or real fur, which one is better for the planet?

January 9, 2019 by  
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Remember the days when anti-fur advocates would sling red paint onto the fur-clad fashion lovers dressed in mink? The fur debate has come a long way since then, with many key players in the fashion world now becoming some of the biggest voices in the anti-fur movement. But, instead of ditching fur altogether, some brands have switched to lavish faux fur options, and that has pivoted the discussion. Instead of focusing on ethics and animal welfare, the spotlight is now shining on its  environmental sustainability. Is it good for the environment? Over the past couple of decades, faux fur has evolved from a cheap, itchy material to a luxurious, affordable option that looks just like the real thing. Faux fur now looks so realistic that consumers can’t tell the difference, but is this option really better for the environment? If you are morally opposed to wearing fur, then it is easy to avoid it. However, if you are just trying to make the best choice for the environment, there are some things you need to know. Just because a piece of clothing might be animal -free, it doesn’t mean it’s not causing damage. Fur industry lobbyists now argue that faux fur is a less sustainable choice because it is made from acrylic, which is a synthetic material made from a non-renewable source that takes centuries to biodegrade. “Petroleum-based faux fur products are the complete antithesis of the concept of responsible environmental conservation,” says Keith Kaplan, director of communications at the Fur Information Council of America. “Right off the top, petrol-based plastic fur is extremely harmful to the environment. It isn’t biodegradable. It’s harmful to wildlife .” Kaplan also points out that trapping wild animals like fox, coyotes and beavers— which is about 15 percent of the fur trade— actually helps manage the wildlife population, and it also provides a livelihood for many indigenous communities. What do the experts say? The research is starting to support this opinion , and we are just beginning to learn about the environmental impact of microfibers— the tiny plastic particles that synthetic fabrics shed when you wash them. A 2016 study published in Environmental Science & Technology found that when you wash a synthetic jacket, it can release an average of 1,174 milligrams of microfibers. And, whatever isn’t filtered out by wastewater treatment plants can end up in waterways, and aquatic animals will ingest them. Many designers, like London-based footwear label Mou, have taken the stance that real fur is a more sustainable option than faux fur because the synthetic is a “non-biodegradable pollutant.” Mou founder Shelley Tichborne says that the faux fabrics don’t “breathe” like natural materials, and that causes unpleasant smells and shortens the product’s lifespan. Related: This couch made from recycled water bottles is built to last a lifetime “In contrast, the natural fiber materials we use such as calfskin, goatskin, sheepskin, antelope, lambskin and rabbit fur are by-products of the meat and dairy industries — all the animals are eaten for their meat, and some produce milk for human consumption,” Tichborne says. “The skins from these animals are naturally beautiful, soft to the touch, warm, bio-degradable and durable, lasting — with care — for up to thirty years.” Anti-fur advocates admit that synthetics like faux fur aren’t the best substitute, but they say the environmental hazards in the fur manufacturing process make real fur the worse option. Advocates claim that CO2 emissions produced from feeding thousands of minks on a single farm, manure runoffs into nearby lakes and rivers and toxic chemicals used in fur dressing and dyeing is evidence enough that real fur is far worse for the environment compared to its alternative counterpart. They also mention that the traps used to hunt wild animals ensnare “non-target” animals like domestic dogs, cats and birds. Which is best? There is a ton of evidence that backs up both sides of the argument, and it is a lot of information to process. But, the reality is that banning fur outright doesn’t solve all of the issues in fashion’s supply chains since the alternatives are petroleum-based textiles. However, the consumer interest in this issue can only be a good thing. We know for sure that cheap, disposable clothing— and our tendency to buy and throw out almost all of it— is terrible for the environment. But, is it really a good idea to wear genuine fur instead of faux fur? Ultimately, it comes down to your own morals and ethics, and the debate won’t be settled anytime soon. Fortunately, with technological advancements happening every day, it probably won’t be long before we start seeing faux furs that have a smaller environmental footprint. Via Fashionista , Refinery29 , HuffPost Images via Shutterstock, Tamara Bellis

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Faux fur or real fur, which one is better for the planet?

Snhetta designs healing forest cabins for patients at Norways largest hospitals

January 9, 2019 by  
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Patients at two of Norway’s largest hospitals can now find respite in Snøhetta’s newly unveiled Outdoor Care Retreats. Designed for the Friluftssykehuset Foundation, the forest retreats offer a calm getaway where patients and their loved ones can benefit from the therapeutic qualities of nature. One of the retreats is located about 100 meters from the entrance of Norway’s largest hospital, Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet, while its sister building is set near a woodland pond by Sørlandet Hospital Kristiansand in the South of Norway. Originally developed in collaboration with the Department of Psychosomatics and CL-Child Psychiatry at Oslo University Hospital, the Outdoor Care Retreats are open to all patients of the hospitals and can be reserved through a booking system. In contrast to the hospital architecture, the cabins take inspiration from nature and consist of tree branch-inspired asymmetrical floor plans and a timber material palette that includes an interior sheathed in oak. Large glass windows overlook views of nature and can be opened by guests. Both buildings — which measure approximately 35 square meters in size — include a main room, a smaller room for conversation and treatment and a bathroom. Each cabin is site-specific  to minimize impact on the site and is designed to be accessible for people who use wheelchairs. The entrances are also wide enough to accommodate hospital beds. The exterior timber cladding will develop a patina over time to blend the buildings into the forest. Related: Harvard unveils Snøhetta-designed HouseZero for sustainable, plus-energy living “Nature provides spontaneous joy and helps patients relax,” said children’s psychologist Maren Østvold Lindheim at the Oslo University Hospital, one of the initiators of the project. “Being in natural surroundings brings them a renewed calm that they can bring back with them into the hospital . In this sense, the Outdoor Care Retreat helps motivate patients to get through treatment and contribute to better disease management.” + Snøhetta Photography by Ivar Kvaal via Snøhetta

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Snhetta designs healing forest cabins for patients at Norways largest hospitals

The Newsroom Actress Olivia Munn Unveils Despicable Video of Chinese Fur Farm

February 24, 2013 by  
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We sincerely doubt that any of our earth-conscious readers would wear fur , but we urge you to take a look at this despicable video footage of a fur farm in China so you can convince anyone who thinks fur is beautiful that it is everything but. Olivia Munn, who is known for her role as a hard-hitting journalist on The Newsroom , narrated this film for PETA , which uncovered how farm workers shamelessly crush bones of cats and dogs by tossing around their cages, electrocute dog’s genitals, behead rabbits and tear the fur off animals while they are still alive. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: activism , animal cruelty , animal rights , china , Environment , fur , fur farms , News , Oliva Munn , PETA , The Newsroom

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The Newsroom Actress Olivia Munn Unveils Despicable Video of Chinese Fur Farm

Will the Fashion Industry Ever Stop Obsessing Over Fur?

December 12, 2010 by  
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If there’s one trend that’s held up over the years, fur has definitely been unfaltering – and this winter season is no exception. As many of use settle into the early stages of what’s set to be a series of cold months, fur has been making a major comeback as one of the season’s statement pieces.

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Will the Fashion Industry Ever Stop Obsessing Over Fur?

Recycle Old Furs Into Bedding for Injured Animals

October 23, 2010 by  
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Photo: iStockphoto With a slew of fur-free celebrities and PETA’s racy anti-fur campaigns , sporting a fur coat is controversial. For reasons that range from the philosophical to the stylistic, Planet Green notes , thousands of old fur coats are sitting in closets, unused. Next month, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and second-hand re..

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Recycle Old Furs Into Bedding for Injured Animals

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