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International Fur Federation launches global certification and traceability system

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

Sep 1, 2021

Business

Image: courtesy of the International Fur Federation/Furmark

The International Fur Federation, which represents and regulates the global fur sector, has unveiled Furmark, a comprehensive global certification and traceability system that guarantees animal welfare and environmental standards.

Described as a “game-changer” for the fur sector, Furmark will offer QR-coded swing tags that map the history of a fur garment, from farm to dressers and dyer, manufacturer and retailers utilising the ChainPoint traceability system.

The International Fur Federation has worked closely with luxury conglomerate LVMH and other key brands to develop the Furmark label to ensure that all certified products are traceable, verified, and guaranteed to have met recognised standards.

Each Furmark certified product will have a unique alphanumeric label code that provides full traceability details, including fur type and origin, animal welfare programme, manufacturer, and place of manufacture, as the fur industry looks to address consumer concerns regarding standards.

Image: courtesy of the International Fur Federation/Furmark

Fur industry looking to attract new audiences with Furmark certification

The Furmark certification means consistent standards across the supply chain, explains the International Fur Federation, as each fully certified product, must be processed by accredited dressers and dyers who meet the SafeFur Standard, covering sustainability, chemical usage, emissions, and product safety, which includes third-party testing.

In addition, Furmark-certified products can only be manufactured by businesses that have passed “due diligence checks” conducted by brand protection and anti-counterfeiting experts. Each step of the process is recorded via a customer-accessible traceability component, ensuring transparency across the supply chain.

The Furmark label only incorporates wild or farm-raised natural fur sold through the auction system from the leading animal welfare programmes, including WelFur, the first animal welfare programme to be promoted through the European Commission’s Self-Regulation and Co-Regulation Initiative.

Furmark certification describes as a “game-changer” by the International Fur Federation

This new global certification and traceability system marks the biggest shake-up to date for the fur industry and has been designed to transform the way it processes natural fur through its supply chain, as well as how fur is seen by consumers, with the International Fur Federation hoping it will open up fur to a whole new market and audience.

Image: courtesy of the International Fur Federation/Furmark

Mark Oaten, chief executive at the International Fur Federation, said in a statement: “This is a game-changer: if people had doubts about buying or wearing natural fur, then they have been answered with Furmark.

“Our centuries-old trade is undergoing its most significant transformation to date; traceable, sustainable products represent the real alternative to ‘fast fashion’. It guarantees animal welfare and environmental standards and demonstrates our shared ambition to deliver a transparent, easy-to-understand certification. It means, in short, that people can confidently buy sustainable natural fur.”

The Furmark system has taken four years to develop, explains the International Fur Federation. The fur sector has worked with industry leaders, scientists, sustainability leads, and welfare experts to agree on a set of recognised standards, which it adds have been based on science, independent inspection, and transparency to modernise natural fur.

Each animal welfare and sustainability programme has a detailed, independently-developed, and science-based protocol or standard. The respective programmes are then subject to third-party assessment and certified by a recognised certification body. There will also be “strict, active enforcement” via visits and assessments. Those that do not meet standards will be excluded from the certification programme and the Furmark system, added the International Fur Federation.

Image: courtesy of the International Fur Federation/Furmark
Image: courtesy of the International Fur Federation/Furmark