Have you come across a post on your Facebook feed where you see people liking the fact that some company is giving up plastic bags or plastic straws? Did you like it too? And how about posts about companies going fur free? But have you ever thought about the fact that buying a non-leather (designer) bag, shoes or fake fur is actually affecting the environment the same way as plastic straws? We cut the use of plastic from one end but then we buy designer plastic and that is OK. Or is it?
Have you ever thought about the fact that buying a fake fur is actually affecting the environment the same way as plastic straws?
The world is not black and white. And the more you learn, the more colors the world of you get. These topics, and many other things, were on Anna Ruohonen’s mind when she was thinking about whether to start using real fur or not. Eventually in 2018 she decided to introduce to her customers the new natural material – real fur, which she uses in accessories. All fur used in the ANNA RUOHONEN collection is from Saga Furs and is 100 % certified and comes from the most responsible and sustainably managed fur farms in Finland.
With her new collection, Anna Ruohonen continues her strong vision of designing clothes that last time and are sustainable. Ethics and ecology are the foundation of her clothing design and Anna’s whole design process is based on the values of sustainable development. All materials used in her latest collection are natural: wool, silk, alpaca and fur.
Real fur as part of ANNA RUOHONEN collection – it was only a matter of time
As an international and successful fashion designer who emphasizes the importance of biodegradable natural materials in the clothing industry, it was only a matter of time that Ruohonen would start using also real fur in her collection. “In my view, using natural materials is a way of getting rid of the plastic fibers and the destructive micro-plastic. Adding real fur into my collection as a natural material is a continuation of my philosophy around sustainable development”, says Anna Ruohonen.
The decision to use real fur in ANNA RUOHONEN collection was done after good cooperation during spring 2018 with Saga Furs and their important clothing company partner EP China. Anna Ruohonen is the only Finnish fashion designer who has designed a Capsule Collection for EP China who celebrated their 30th Anniversary in 2018. The collection was sold during Autumn 2018 in the most important stores of EP China.
“Of course, I’m worried about how the animals are treated; and yes, we need to take care of animal welfare; but I also think we need to see things in bigger perspective. Clearly plastic is a huge problem on our planet, and we need to cut the use of it. On the other hand, I see using fur and other parts of the animals as a life-cycle. Some people say that they don’t want to go to French meat grocery stores as it is ugly to see those carcasses in the stores. Well, it’s the same animal in the plastic box in the fridge and in between the hamburger bun”, continues Anna Ruohonen.
Natural materials are better for people and the environment
“If we stop using natural materials such as fur, leather, wool, angora, silk and cashmere, then what is left? Plastic.” According to Anna Ruohonen it seems like people have moved away from the real life. Maybe Anna Ruohonen is right. Maybe it is because of Instagram and the trend of seeing only pretty things and not the truth. Maybe, or maybe not, but one thing is for sure – real fur is material which lasts and is held onto for decades.
Real fur can be repaired, resold, or even remodeled into another garment or an interior piece. Furthermore, after years of use by a grandmother, a mother, and a daughter, if the fur is discarded, it will completely biodegrade – actually, as fast as an oak leaf. And what comes to the carcasses, those are used for bio-gas and bio-fuel thus contributing to the circular economy. “Don’t you like the idea of your granddaughter one day using your fur coat on her wedding day for example? The truth is, however, that no one is going to keep cheap looking fake fur for decades”, adds Anna Ruohonen.
“If we stop using natural materials such as fur, leather, wool, angora, silk and cashmere, then what is left? Plastic.”
And when it comes to choosing Saga Furs, Anna also brings up a good example: “I’m a dog person. And as a dog person I know that the fur and the skin of a dog is looking good only when the dog is well taken care of. Whether it’s the food, water, or medical care, …it’s only when all those are well taken care of the dog is healthy. And as Saga Furs has been known for their superior quality furs since the very beginning, I believe it’s because the animal welfare has always been the priority for the company. Being still the number one choice for fashion designers and many international customers, there was no doubt I would choose Saga Furs as a partner.”
About Anna Ruohonen
Anna Ruohonen is currently the most well-known Finnish, Paris-based fashion designer and founder of her own clothing label ANNA RUOHONEN Paris. Ruohonen just opened the new showroom in Paris in the trendy district of Le Marais, a hub of hip designers.
Ruohonen has a strong vision of designing clothes which last time and are sustainable. Ethics and ecology are the foundation of her clothing design and Anna’s whole design work is based on the values of sustainable development. During fall 2018 as a new natural material Ruohonen introduced also real fur.
- Elle Style Awards 2009 in Finland – prize for her ongoing contribution to ethical and sustainable fashion
- Louis Vuitton Guide 2013
- Paris Chamber of Commerce – Prize for the Best Shop in Paris 2014
- Kaj Franck Design Prize 2017
About Elegant Prosper or EP
- A fashion chain with 235 own stores and 328 franchise stores in China
- Established in 1988 EP China celebrated their 30th Anniversary in 2018.
- Saga Furs and EP invited Anna Ruohonen, Paris based Finnish fashion designer to design a Capsule Collection to celebrate the anniversary. The Collection was used for display and sold during VIP retail events in 9 major cities.
- To support sales of EP and Anna Ruohonen collection sales staff was trained about Saga Furs’ sustainability and traceability program as well as material training. As a cherry on top sales staff also learned about Anna Ruohonen’s thinking about timeless design and sustainable materials which never go out of fashion.
Interested to read more about real fur and plastic? Then check this article about designer Chunchen Liu who won Saga Award at the international REMIX Fur Design Competition.