By Emily Ledger
Despite still grasping on to its position as a luxury fashion material, furs have undoubtedly fallen out of public favour in recent decades as animal rights activism has become more common. It is now far more important for fashion brands to adopt a more ethical approach with the use of plastic-based ‘furs’ taking over from fur from animals such as fox and mink.
But as the population becomes more aware of the harmful impact of plastics on the natural world, the ethics and sustainability of these materials are also being called into questions. However, one brand believes that they may have come up with a solution to satisfy the conscience of the modern-day consumer.
Fur made from Hemp?
While hemp has been used for the production of textiles and clothes for thousands of years, the development of hemp ‘furs’ definitely represents an innovation in the uses of the plant. A design company based in Kyiv, Ukraine, has created a fur-like material using the fibres of hemp plants and viscose with a cotton base.
DevoHome showcased the faux fur material in its clothing collection at last year’s Ukraine Fashion Week, drawing the attention of Ukrainians who are increasingly concerned with the ethics of the fashion industry. In 2019, a record 27,500 Ukrainians supported legislation to ban fur farming in the country via the government’s website.
DevoHome’s plant-based faux fur fabric is created using organic hemp which has been grown without the use of pesticides and herbicides.
In a recent interview with euronews, DevoHome founder Oksana Devoe, stated:
“The whole world is protesting against animal fur and then started protesting against synthetic fur, which is made of chemical and petroleum products. So, by creating plant-based fur, we solve all these issues with animal and synthetic fur.”
“It differs from synthetic fur, it’s very simple, it’s just plant-based, it’s biodegradable. So, this latest fur has even the base of it is cotton. You can also dig it under the ground, and it will biodegrade by itself quite soon.”
The material has been embraced by fashion brands and dressmakers who are increasingly looking to use more sustainable options for garments. According to one dressmaker, Halyna Zeldych, the material also has a pleasant scent and is less irritable compared with other faux fur options.
She continued, “It feels really good in my hands. It doesn’t cause allergies during the cutting or sewing, compared to working with synthetic textiles.”
While the designer’s collection of hemp fur-trimmed coats and jackets may be the most eyecatching, DevoHome also uses hemp fibre products – including their hemp fur – in the production of other products, including blankets, quilt covers, and socks.
Hemp is increasingly being considered an option for the development of clothing products, with a growing number of brands embracing the plant.
As hemp laws in European countries and around the world continue to be liberalised, it is likely that the development of more sustainable and ethical innovations such as hemp fur will become increasingly common and, personally, we can’t wait.