The environmental impact of mink fur production
This study reports on a life cycle assessment (LCA) of mink fur production, quantifying the environmental impact of the production chain 'from feed to fur'. To produce 1 kg of fur requires more than 11 animals. In the course of its lifetime, mink eat about 50 kg of feed, resulting in 563 kg of feed required per kg of fur. Although the feed consists mainly of offal and this is accounted for by very low allocation of environmental impacts, the 563 kilos required to produce 1 kg of fur knocks on considerably in the total environmental footprint of fur and for 14 of the 18 impact categories studied, feed is the predominant factor. Compared with textiles, fur has a higher impact per kg in 17 of the 18 environmental categories, including climate change, eutrophication and toxic emissions. In many cases, fur has impacts that are a factor 2 to 28 higher than textiles, even when lower-bound values are taken for various links in the production chain.