Storied French Faux Fur Maker Debuts Most Sustainable Product Yet

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MILAN — As more fashion brands rush to ban real fur from their collections, finding the right alternatives has become a top priority for luxury labels like Prada, Gucci and most recently the entire Kering stablemate.

Tissavel, a storied French manufacturer of faux fur, which has provided materials to Dior, Kenzo and Jean Paul Gaultier, among others, is coming to the rescue, debuting its most sustainable product yet, suitable to reproduce real-look, long-haired fake fur.

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The fabric — made in Japan and woven in China — is a blend of 50 percent patented Kanecaron modacrylic fibers and 50 percent recycled polyester fibers, a first for the industry as the latter material was only employed until now for short-haired faux fur.

The GRS-certified fabric combines the high-performance and high-quality touch and feel features of the Kanecaron fibers, originally debuted as a fireproof material and first employed in high fashion by Chanel in the 1980s, and the sustainable recycled polyester, also manufactured by Kaneka. The latter has offered Tissavel the exclusive use of the fabric, in light of its long-standing relationship with the company’s parent.

Tissavel was acquired in 2019 by Japan’s Mitsui Bussan I-Fashion Co. Ltd., a textile-focused subsidiary of the Osaka-based Mitsui&Co holding.

“In addition to exploiting the current quest for faux fur and related change in habits, we pride ourselves on having contributed to this shift and embraced consumers’ petitions against animal cruelty, as the market required high-quality fake fur to digest the transition from animal fur,” said Bruno Massa, chief merchant at Tissavel, with responsibility on the European market.

The company has been at the forefront of sustainable alternatives to real fur for the past 10 years having already amassed a range of hero products. They include the short-haired fake furs entirely crafted from recycled polyester, Astrakhan-looking furs made of viscose fibers developed in partnership with Bemberg, as well as fully biodegradable cellulosic fibers.

“The vision of sustainability is very personal,” said Massa, elaborating on the ongoing debate about the eco-friendly credentials of fake fur. “There are companies only evaluating the end-of-life waste management and for sure disposal of man-made fibers is more polluting, but the environmental impact of manufacturing processes such as farming and tanning cannot be underestimated,” he said.


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