this fiber too. But before getting into them, first, let us take a little dip into the history of fur.
History of Fur?
The fur is the first natural fiber used by man. For those of you who are not aware of this term,
let me explain. Natural fiber refers to the material that is obtained initially from plants and
animals in nature. Some common examples of natural fibers would be cotton, silk, wool, cashmere, fur, etc.
Now, humans first became aware of the utility of fur as a fabric about 1,70,000 years ago.
Since then, they have continually worn it as a fashion statement. The Slavic people in
Europe are considered to be the first to do so. According to the experts, the Russians, the
Poles, the Balkans, the Belarusians, the Carpathians lived in mountainous regions where the
weather was pretty cold and harsh. In these low temperatures, where the climate conditions
were testing, people relied upon fur clothing to keep them warm.
As early as the 11th century, fur clothing was being witnessed not only as a clothing fabric
but also as a social symbol. The European Royalty during these times was wearing fur
capes, fur coats, and fur accessories produced from sable, mink, and chinchilla fur.
Afterward, by the 1300s, laws were laid dictating which social classes were allowed to wear
which types of fur.
Later in the Victorian Era, there was a further increase in this fiber's popularity, which
caused a rise in its demand. As a result of this, there was a development of fur farms in the
1870s. During that time, the men wore coats that were lined with fur on the inside, while the
outside was crafted with some other material. In women's coats, the fur was generally used at
collars, wrists, hems, etc.
By the 1950s, as more and more film stars were spotted wearing furs in the movies as well as
in their real lives, the demand for the material increased furthermore. This happenstance
encouraged the designers to come up with new casual looks with fur. By the 1960s, the prices
of fur also decreased, and the fabric became more affordable, again contributing to its
popularity among ordinary people.
Fur and Sustainable Development
The use of natural fibers, especially those fibers that are obtained from animals, has been a
topic of debate for a while. There is one class of people that promotes the use of fur, while
there is this other class that mostly consists of animal activists that condemn the use of fur for
any purpose. Thus, today we have decided to look into this debate more closely in order to
figure out the impact of fur on the environment.
● Farmed Fur
The farmed fur animals eat the food that is obtained from the waste product of fish, meat, and
dairy processing. This practice is helpful as it uses the waste material that would have been
otherwise disposed of in nature. Again, the waste from the farmed animals is also well-
managed in this process, as it is used to produce biogas. This aids in reducing the dependence
on fossil fuels.
● Wild fur
Hunting and trapping the wild has been a common and popular way of obtaining fur. It is a
good method of wildlife management, and it is said to have little to no impact on the
environment. In order to ensure that wildlife is not endangered, the government has set strict
quotas. The local indigenous people who are involved in this practice stay mindful of their
impact on nature and respect the wildlife. They often use the whole animal, and that which is
of no use to them, they return it back to nature.
The chemicals used in the processing of fur are also regulated by the government to ensure
minimum harm to the environment. The fur industry uses gentle chemicals than those used in
the tanning and fabric dyeing industries.
Thus, from the above narration, it is absolutely clear that the fur industry is not harmful to
nature. In fact, it corroborates the idea of sustainable development.
The fur is a natural fiber that, in the present world, is a popular fabric not only because of its
uses but also because of its social status. This fiber is looked at prestigiously by people in
almost all sections of society. It also contributes toward the sustainable development of the