ECOPEL KOBA FAUX FUR
Headquarters: Shanghai, China
Ecopel is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of petroleum-based faux fur. Although petroleum-based faux fur itself has less environmental impact than animal-based fur, Material Innovation Initiative focuses attention on the very few alternative fur companies taking steps to integrate renewable fibers into their products. ECOPEL is committed to phasing out the use of non-renewable fibers, and their partnership with DuPont to create KOBA® faux fur is their first step in this process.
KOBA® faux fur integrates DuPont Sorona fiber and petroleum-based fiber. According to company materials, KOBA faux fur is 37% plant based. Although not a perfect solution in terms of sustainability, this material represents a reduction in the use of non-renewable resources in the faux fur industry.
DuPont Sorona fiber is made by using fermentation to synthesize propanediol. Acid is then added to create a bonded polymer. According to company materials, 37% of DuPont’s polymer is made using renewable plant-based ingredients. The plant-based components are corn by-products from bio-fuel production that would otherwise be waste. ECOPEL blends this fiber with petroleum-based fibers to create KOBA faux fur.
Graphic of Sorona fiber production from DuPont http://sorona.com/our-story/
By integrating plant-based fibers, KOBA faux fur represents an improvement in sustainability over entirely petroleum-based products. The company offers some data on energy use and emissions, but a full life cycle analysis is needed before comparisons can be made. Like petroleum-based furs, KOBA faux fur is animal friendly.
The Koba Fur-Free Fur debuted as an onyx black faux fur coat at McCartney’s Spring/Summer 2020 fashion show during Paris Fashion Week.
Images from Ecopel Koba.