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PHILOSOPHY

Australian outerwear fur label H Brand is a status symbol. An exploration of an enduring tradition, creative passion and excellence in the finest craft – synonymous with lifestyle. A revolution carried out through industry-first techniques, unrivalled research, playful colours and innovative designs transform fur into a modern and luxurious staple.

A manual art, the dexterity of highly skilled artisans brings to life timeless designs, elaborated through hand-knitted tailoring, leather inserts and directional weaves.

An emphasis on texture and textiles underscore a natural yet smart approach to style with a tactile line-up full of rich autumnal tones, a strong tone for outerwear. The fur used by H Brand is specifically farmed for the use of garments by Chinese Government Certified Organisations. These organisations are strictly monitored to ensure legitimate and appropriate conditions and methods are adhered to, specifically the welfare and treatment of animals.

H Brand is committed to ensuring that no animal is inappropriately treated during the farming process. We only rely on factories and farms that have the appropriate certifications. All H Brand products originate from China and are dyed.

H Brand products have not been obtained from wild animals or endangered species, but as a by-product.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

FARMED FUR
Farmed fur animals eat food that is prepared from the waste products of the meat, fish and dairy processing industries, preventing this waste from being disposed of into the environment. When the waste from fur farms themselves is well managed there are environmental benefits which include the production of bio-gas to reduce the demand for fossil fuels and the production of agricultural fertilisers to replace high-energy manufactured fertilisers.

PROCESSING
All chemicals used in the dressing of fur are regulated to ensure environmentally responsible practices. The fur trade uses the same or gentler chemicals as used in the tanning and fabric dyeing industries – the hair or fur on a pelt is removed in the leather industry – in the fur industry the pelt has to be treated in a way gentle enough to ensure that the hair or fur remains intact.

IF YOUR FUR GETS WET
Most furs handle snow and light rain with ease. Shake it out and hang it to dry in a well-ventilated room, at home or office. Resist the temptation to speed the drying process by using a hair dryer or hanging it near a heat source as fur does not like heat. After it dries, shake it again. Do not comb or brush it. If its hairs are a little bristly, simply smooth them with your hand. If your fur has been soaked through, take it immediately to be cleaned by a professional.

FURS DO NOT LIKE CRUSHING OR FRICTION
Crushing is often experienced whilst driving or in a car. Use common sense when sliding into the seat, so you’re not too hard on your fur. To avoid a flattened bottom print on your fur, don’t sit on it if possible, or at least not on the same spot consistently.

HOUSING YOUR FUR
Be sure you put your fur in a coat wardrobe that is not exposed to light, which will fade your fur, or heat, which will dry out your fur. Be sure your fur has room to breathe and isn’t being crushed by other garments.

AVOID ALL CHEMICALS
Perfume and hairspray contain alcohol, which can dry the pelts. Once a perfume gets into your fur it could be there to stay. These sprays (including alcohol, solvent, and silicone based substances) will dry the leather and stiffen the fur.

FUR CLEANING
You do not clean your fur just because it gets dirty. The number one concern with fur material is that the natural oils in the pelts will dry out. Once this happens the pelts become so brittle or tender that they will tear with incredible ease, rendering the garment useless. If you feel a fur and then rub your fingers you should be able to feel a very slight oiliness. This is normal. Dust, pollutants, and airborne particulates are attracted to this and get caught in the hairs of the fur. They then act as a sponge drawing the natural oils out of the pelts. These particles also have an abrasive effect on the hairs of the fur that can wear on the natural shine of the fur over time, causing it to look old and tired. When you clean a fur your primary goal is to remove these materials from the hairs.

Furs cannot be dry-cleaned and never should be put in a washing machine or dryer. H Brand furs can only be dry-cleaned by a professional fur specialist.

FUR STORAGE
Fur hates the heat but loves the cold. Nothing shortens the life of your fur like keeping it in your closet during a long, hot summer. If at all possible, we suggest you store your fur garments in cold storage when you have finished wearing it for the season, this is one of the most important steps you can take in preserving your furs.

THE IMPORTANCE OF HUMIDITY CONTROL
Humidity level is important when a fur will be hanging in one place for a significant amount of time. If the humidity is too low (dry air) the natural oils in the pelts will evaporate more rapidly causing the garment to become dry and deteriorate. If the humidity is too high (damp air) then pelts could potentially rot.

In addition, along with all responsible industries, IFF sought ways and means to improve the environmental footprint of fur production. The findings of this report provide a solid foundation for the fur industry to identify opportunities to improve its environmental performance by increasing its positive contributions to environmental quality and by preventing or reducing its demand on the environment. This LCA reveals many opportunities for future improvement through all stages of the life cycle of natural fur. The fur industry is currently engaged in initiating an environmental management program; an important step being to identify and implement environmental good management practices throughout the fur life cycle.

China is an important part of every link in our value chain, increasingly so when it comes to production.

The production of fur in China is well regulated and is the subject of a programme of continued improvement and review. In China, the State Forestry Administration (SFA) of the People’s Republic of China is responsible for fur farming.

China has been characteristically quick to understand there is a moral and economic imperative to ensure the welfare of our animals. Animals that are healthier and happier produce the best fur and fetch the best prices. In this way there is a constant drive to improve welfare and quality across the board.

The processes and technologies on the farms have evolved immensely and are utilised in farms across the world. This is important because as well as improving animal welfare and fur quality, it makes the fur farming process more sustainable and environmentally friendly. It also helps to eliminate waste in other areas of industry.

The first important way that the fur production process starts is to feed the animals on the farm food that eliminates waste. Most farmed furbearers (e.g. mink and fox) are carnivores, so what their bodies require most is animal protein. This is something that is in general abundance due to the meat and fish production industries. Unfortunately meat production creates a lot of waste, as there are many parts of the animal that are not marketable to meat and fish consumers. This is a great help to the fur farmer however as this presents them the opportunity to buy this otherwise waste animal protein to the meat in the supermarkets. Often furbearers are fed on this byproduct-protein coming from abattoirs and fish farms, giving a new purpose to material that would otherwise potentially go to waste.

How waste is dealt with is an important priority for farmers for several reasons:

Governments regulate this very robustly; if handled improperly it could effect the environment negatively.

The health of the animals as well as the farmer and family (many farmers live on their farms) is helped by good management of waste.

Farms, like all businesses, need to have a good relationship with their neighbours and that is not possible when damaging the collective environment.

Waste management can create extra income for farmers if dealt with in the right way.

This last point is important. In the fur trade, we are often asked, “What happens to the rest of the animal?” This is an important question as we feel strongly that whenever possible the materials produced should not be allowed to go to waste.

This is why the fur sector is a leader in terms of byproduct usage, using the remains to extract valuable phosphates for agriculture and fats that are used in such industries as cosmetics production and even cement. The other waste elements including methane producing byproducts are utilised to produce biogas, used in car engines and to drive public transport.

Animal welfare is a top priority for the IFF and all members of the international fur industry. There is a big difference between animal welfare and animal rights. Animal welfare is the idea that animals should ideally be free from suffering and that the responsibility for this rests with human beings. Animal rights refers to the idea that animals have rights that are completely independent of humans and thus humans do not have the right to use animals as food or for clothing.

The fur sector respects animal welfare both legally when required by governmental authorities and voluntarily, often going above and beyond the minimums required. Please read more about animal welfare and animal rights.

Animals on fur farms are protected against sickness and unfit living conditions. The fur farm wants to raise quality products to sell. This would ensure caring for their animals to produce highest quality fur. There are many rules and regulations governing both farming and trapping all over the world, and you can visit the welfare section of our website for more information.

These two things may sound similar, but there is a big difference between them. Animal welfare means animals are well cared for and have access to clean water, nutritious food, shelter and veterinary care, to name a few. Generally, animal welfare means the farmer, or animal owner, needs to ensure the animals they tend to are cared for responsibly and in accordance with the latest available scientific knowledge and best practices. Animal rights means that animals have rights, similar to the rights conferred upon people; it means animals are completely independent of us and people therefore do not have the right to use animals in any way.

This sounds very academic and complex, but in simplest terms it means that people cannot use animals for any reason – ever. Animal welfare largely acknowledges that animal use is acceptable as long as there is no avoidable suffering and every effort is made to keep the animals comfortable and healthy.

Animal rights groups frequently campaign to end the use of meat, leather, wool, dairy products, silk, medical animal research, guide dogs, horse racing and, in many instances, pets.

Most of us would agree that we have the right to make choices that affect our own lives. No one, for instance would dream of forcing someone who is vegan to eat meat. It is their choice and should be respected.

Many animal rights activists however, cannot bring themselves to respect the rights of others to make their own choices and sometimes demand that governments “ban” the production and trade of may animal products, including fur.

Freedom of choice is something that the fur sector respects very strongly. Fur is a luxury and as a result the businesses that work in this historied and highly skilled area are dependant on members of the public taking the choice to use and wear it. We value the freedoms we all share in determining our own choices in how we live our lives: who we meet, where we go and what we wear. Everyone should have the freedom to make their own decisions in this regard and we fundamentally reject calls to restrict or ban people from making their own decisions.

Something is Environmentally Sustainable when the demands placed on the environment can be met without reducing its capacity to allow all people to live well, now and in the future.

Fur farming is a modern and highly efficient process that has honed itself to be optimally sustainable using for example the waste products of other industries (e.g. eggs, cheese, fish and meat) to feed the animals that give us fur. On the other end of the production the waste products from fur including dung, animal fat etc. can be used in the manufacturing of biofuels, cement, pharmaceuticals and fertiliser making fur farming today a process that has minimal environmental impact.

Societal Sustainability is harder to define. The fur industry employs approximately a million people around the world and with tens of billions of US Dollars annually of economic activity directly related to fur, the industry makes a huge contribution to tax revenues and to the incomes of rural communities. Fur businesses are most often family-owned as the skills are passed form one generation to the next. Fur also allows many indigenous communities to carry out their traditional way of life, (e.g. Inuit seal hunters) while providing for their families in some of the harshest climates on Earth.

Another aspect of this kind of sustainability is that societies make decisions about what kinds of activities/organisations are allowed and which are not based on many factors like relative cost to the society, public opinion, etc. The fur industry demonstrates well why it deserves “license to operate” however the opposition fur has faced in the past years is proof that there is still work to be done in this area particularly in public communication.

Further reviewing and improving welfare standards, making processes more efficient, producing better quality products and demonstrating Environmental and Societal Sustainability to consumers and to the public at large are key to securing the license to operate for the fur trade, well into the future.

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