INTERNATIONAL FUR FEDERATION (IFF)
Established in 1949, the International Fur Federation (IFF) is the only Federation to represent the international fur industry and regulate its practices and trade. IFF promotes the business of fur, establishes certification standards around sustainability, transparency and traceability that relate to the environment, farming practice and employment. Its members include farmers, trappers, dressers, manufacturers, brokers, auction houses, retailers and designers who adhere to a strict code which regulates the industry within their home countries – standards developed by the IFF to build a rational and substantial argument for natural fur. Despite these efforts, IFF is facing the challenge of increased resistance from the fashion industry to become fur-free, as well as militant misinformation by such anti-fur organisations as PETA. IC Insight Communications was retained in 2018 to communicate the positive message of IFF best practice and code of ethics in Italy, presenting arguments to substantiate the support of, or return to, natural fur, fostering understanding and goodwill towards IFF.
We developed and executed a multi-channel communication strategy to raise awareness about the IFF and its fair, sustainable practices and trade in Italy in 2018 and have continued to build on what has been disseminated throughout 2019. We adapted, produced and disseminated an Italian version of the IFF brochure which contained the Federation’s key message and value chain, as well an outline of the FURMARK certification which will be launched in 2020 by IFF to include traceability, sustainability, animal welfare and the dressing and dyeing of fur. We brought together the most important fashion lifestyle and trade publications at a high-impact press lunch in Milan at which we introduced IFF CEO Marc Oaten and presented the brochure and all the IFF activities. During Milan Fashion Week in February, we organised the awards and press coverage for the prizegiving of the Remix competition for young designers using fur. During fairs we consistently communicate with lifestyle fashion and trade publications about IFF. We have started a collaboration programme with influencers to secure product placement particularly during the fashion weeks of New York, Paris and Milan. A press and influencer trip to Saga Fur in Copenhagen is in planning stage. The campaign is ongoing.
Our campaign has built understanding, trust and confidence in the market, sustaining the use fur among media, digital influencers, brands, designers and industry influencers. The misconception that ‘plastic fur’ is more environmentally friendly than real fur has been successfully addressed and promoting and positioning natural fur as “the responsible choice” has created awareness and visibility about IFF’s sustainable practices and interest in the Furmark label. We achieved prominent coverage and word of mouth about IFF’s activities through targeted media relations, as well as reinforcing relationships between IFF board members, key editors, industry influencers and opinion leaders at the highest, and more importantly, at the most effective levels. The world’s leading brands continue to use in the knowledge that it is the sustainable choice, as well as a luxury good.