The value of the global fur retail trade reached an estimated $20.1 billion in 2020, but would have been roughly 25 percent stronger were it not for the pandemic, according to a new study conducted by the University of Copenhagen and commissioned by the International Fur Federation (IFF), a trade group.
Lockdowns and travel bans disrupted fur supply chains and retail sales of fur clothing and accessories last year, while a Covid-19 outbreak on mink farms in Denmark led to a mass cull, effectively ending the mink-fur farming industry for the world’s largest producer of the material.
The true impact of the Danish mink cull is yet to be felt, the study found. While the pandemic eradicated 25 percent of global production and 30 to 35 percent of the global trade of raw mink skins, it’s thought the Danish mink cull did not have any significant impact on retail sales last year, according to the study.
However, despite the “significant” negative impact of the pandemic, the report predicted disruptions caused by Covid-19 will likely prove temporary and have little impact on longer-term industry trends. Though a growing number of large Western brands have made high-profile commitments to stop using fur in recent years, the global trade in fur garments reached its highest ever measured value in 2019, according to the study.
”Even when the pandemic and the Danish situation are taken into account, fur retail sales are soaring — with e-commerce incredibly strong,” IFF chief Mark Oaten said in a statement.