Our Sourcing Policy
Ethical Fur – Best of British
Bewitched is a UK artisan brand based in Wiltshire creating contemporary, wearable fur garments and accessories in reclaimed, sustainable and welfare assured fur. All our items are handmade in our Wiltshire workshop utilising some of the best British materials such as British leather - farmed, tanned and dyed here in the UK, silk linings - woven and dyed here in the last British silk mill and military brass buckles – cast by hand here in the UK.
Bewitched primarily uses reclaimed vintage and pre-loved furs – promoting fur reuse and recycling. We do source our brightly coloured new rabbit fur from within Europe and as a by-product of the pet food industry. Any other new fur for bespoke individual items, to the best of our knowledge, is sourced from certified, regulated and welfare assured European or American fur farms and strongly encourages all her clients to also do so. All new fur sourced by Bewitched, to the best of our knowledge, is processed by REACH compliant dressers and dyers.
Bewitched Ltd is a member of the British Fur Trade Association and Fur Futures in association with Fur Europe. Bewitched is a proud supporter of WelFur the Fur Europe new initiative.
The international fur industry
Today’s society expects businesses to fulfill their legal and moral responsibilities and for those that interact with animals, this includes understanding what constitutes good welfare and ensuring that it is carried out. Iincreasingly, consumers are demanding to know from where products are sourced and the social, environmental and economic impact of their production.
The international fur industry operates within several overarching principles:
- Production is regulated by state, national and/or international legislation and tough industry standards, based on the results of research conducted by independent animal scientists. These include both fur farming and trapping/hunting and cover the welfare of the animals whilst they are alive as well as humane slaughter methods. Just as with farming of animals for meat products.
- In Europe, the fur trade is developing a pioneering animal welfare assessment program that will guarantee a high level of animal welfare on European fur farms. A similar program is being developed in North America.
- The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is strictly adhered to. This ensures that there is NO trade in endangered or threatened species.
- Processing of fur pelts conform to relevant legislation that governs the safe use of chemicals – R.E.A.C.H.
- Traceability through the supply chain and clear and precise labeling are key to providing consumer assurance. Top 10 fur myths!
Despite fur’s evident popularity, a few myths seem to persist about the fur industry. Here are the top ten most common.
Myth 1: Animals are treated badly on fur farms
As any pet owner knows, the condition of an animal's coat is one of the first and clearest indications of the care that the animal is receiving. A fur farmer's livelihood depends upon ensuring that his animals receive the best possible feeding, sanitary housing and care and that the animals’ eventual dispatch is humane, quick and painless. Millions of dollars are invested in objective scientific research to ensure the optimum animal welfare standards for fur animals.
Myth 2: The fur trade is un-regulated
The fur trade is tightly regulated by state, national and international laws and regulations in addition to industry codes of practice. These regulations cover everything from animal welfare to environmental impact. The fur trade continues to actively engage with governments to help ensure anti-cruelty laws are based on independent, scientifically proven fur animal welfare best-practice. For more information on specific laws and regulations please visit www.wearefur.com.
Myth 3: Fake fur is more sustainable than real fur
Fake furs are made from petroleum-based products derived from non-renewable resources, whilst natural fur comes from renewable resources with a 20-30 year life span.
Myth 4: Fur farming is very harmful to the environment
Studies have found that fur has many environmental benefits. Real fur is a natural, renewable resource. Farmed mink are fed with leftovers from abattoirs, fish plants and other food production by-products - they ‘recycle’ wastes that would otherwise go to landfills. In addition to fur, farmed mink provide fine oils for skin care and waterproofing leather, organic fertilizers, bio-fuels and other products. Biofuels made from farmed mink are a second-generation biofuels, which are a lot better for the environment than the first generation biofuels. Additionally, carcasses from farmed mink are also used for heating purposes and in the production of cement.
Myth 5: Domestic cats and dogs are used by the fur trade
There are laws banning the use of domestic cat and dog species for fur in Europe and North America and the members of the International Fur Federation have had a voluntary worldwide ban that pre-dates these laws. Fur from domestic cat or dog is not suitable to be used in fur coats - there are plenty of well cared-for farmed animals bred specifically for this purpose. The fur trade actively supports all governments to legislate against any mislabeling of fur products and enforce that legislation.
Myth 6: Fur industry trades in endangered species
Wild fur species are abundant, in fact trapping for fur is part of many wildlife management programs in the countries which produce wild fur because fur species tend to be abundant predators which need to be controlled for the health of an eco-system. The fur trade is actively adhering to the sustainable use conservation principle and is not seen as an issue by conservationists. In fact, the International Fur Federation has been a voting member of the IUCN (the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) since 1985 and sponsors IUCN conservation projects. Furthermore the fur trade and its members have encouraged and supported CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) since its inception in the 1970s.
Myth 7: Wild animals trapped for the fur trade suffer for days in unregulated traps
It is worth remembering that the majority of animals trapped are not for fur but for pest or environmental control. Even so, nowadays as part of the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards (AIHTS) which the fur trade worked to help establish, all traps used for any reason must reach a humane standard which, depending on the species, requires the animal to be killed outright and quickly. Trap-lines must be visited within a day of being set. The fur trade is currently calling on the EU to implement the AIHTS.
Myth 8: Baby seals are clubbed to death for the fur trade
It has been illegal to hunt baby seals (also known as whitecoats and bluebacks) in Canada (the largest producer of seal skins and meat) since 1985. Over 90% of seals are hunted by trained marksmen using rifles, and seals are hunted to strict quotas set by conservationists according to population levels. The annual seal hunt is independently monitored. The International Fur Federation supports efforts to create international hunting standards for all seals hunted for any reason including those hunted to preserve fish stocks, not just those traded commercially.
Myth 9: Fur Animals are skinned alive
Such cruelty is illegal in all fur producing countries and moreover, the fur trade actively encourages all governments to enforce anti-cruelty laws. Not only would skinning an animal alive be unimaginably sadistic and unethical, it would also be unnecessarily difficult, dangerous and result in a poor quality pelt. In fact, the animal must have been dead for several hours before the pelting process can begin. We think anybody who attempts to carry out such a vile procedure should be dealt with by the law.
Myth 10: Animal rights organisations such as PETA always keep and care for animals they take in
The US non-profit organisation Center for Consumer Freedom published documents online, obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request, showing that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) killed a staggering 95.9% of the adoptable pets in its care during 2011. Despite years of public outrage over its euthanasia program, the notorious animal rights group has continued killing adoptable animals at its Norfolk, VA headquarters, at an average of 37 pets every week.