Kym Canter used to own a lot of fur. The former creative director of J. Mendel, where she spent much of her time in the brand’s fur atelier, loved how glamorous her coats made her feel. But today, both her personal style and her long-held views have changed, and she is now the name behind a new brand of sustainable faux fur that is inspired by her love of luxury.
Funded from the sale of Canter’s fur collection, New York-based House of Fluff launched online this week. Now seen as a viable, fashionable as well as cruelty-free alternative to the real thing, many brands and consumers alike are increasingly embracing faux fur. However, while it is typically viewed as a better option in terms of animal welfare, for some its impact on the environment is just as harmful. “A lot of faux fur is made with toxic chemicals, and you can feel it when you touch it,” explained House of Fluff’s Design Director Alex Dymek in a recent interview with vogue.com. “There’s just no way you can sell faux fur [at that low price] if it isn’t made with damaging chemicals,” she went on to say.
In direct contrast, House of Fluff’s faux fur coats and jackets are crafted from earth-friendly materials that are luxurious to the touch. The brand is also committed to the use of natural dyes, using plant bark, berries and flowers, which means that no two items are exactly the same color, and its plastic hangers, hang tags and packaging are all recycled. Even surplus fabric scraps are put to good use, to make the brand’s collectable Scrappy characters, and mindful of its carbon footprint, garments are produced in local factories.
Backed by Carmen, who was pleased to discover a faux fur brand with such strong ethical credentials, House of Fluff has also been endorsed by Oprah, who is wearing one of their beautifully crafted coats on the cover of the December issue of her eponymous magazine. Indeed, it was Adam Glassman, the magazine’s Creative Director, who first introduced Carmen to Kym Canter.
The range of styles debuting on House of Fluff’s website this week reflects how we want to wear faux fur today. Luxurious bomber jackets, cropped shrugs and faux fur-trimmed hoodies sit comfortably alongside more traditional styles. “The fact that I can put on this one thing that totally changes my look—that’s all I want,” Canter told vogue.com. There is also a range of cold weather-ready accessories, including a pair of pull on faux fur sleeves that can be worn alone or as an additional outer layer.
The number of companies committing to no longer feature real fur in their collections is growing, and several high profile retailers have also taken the decision not to sell fur items. But while the fashion industry and many of its consumers remain divided over the issue, House of Fluff’s innovative outerwear offers a natural, low impact and luxurious alternative option.
House of Fluff’s debut collection is available online here and will launch exclusively on Net-A-Porter.com tomorrow.