Furmark®-certified dressers and dyers satisfy three important criteria: the highest standards of product safety; government inspection of facilities to ensure minimal emissions; and declarations from the companies themselves making them culpable for any failure to uphold their commitments.
In April 2011, dressers and dyers from around the world decided to cooperate in order to enhance the role of their profession within the fur trade. The result was the International Fur Dressers and Dyers Association (IFDDA). The IFDDA published its first ever sustainability report in 2015.
Dressing refers to the preservation of fur from its unprocessed state. Dyeing refers to changing the colour of the hairs of the fur. Both of these processes require industrial and chemical methods. Consequently, the fur sector has spent a great deal of time and effort working with these skilled professionals to find the best sustainable solutions for the customer, the product and the environment.
Furmark®-certified dressers and dyers satisfy three important criteria: the highest standards of product safety; government inspection of facilities to ensure minimal emissions; declarations from the companies themselves making them culpable for any failure to uphold their commitments. As a part of Furmark®, there is also a supplementary onsite assessment (resuming after the pandemic) by the independent third-party testing institute to ensure these declarations are correct.
The Dressing organisations are committed to ensuring that there are certification programmes relevant to the whole fur supply chain, including the dressing and dyeing stage.
The organisations recognise that there are different certification programmes relevant to different regional geographies and administered by separate authorities. They expect that these distinct programmes will all meet these principles, and that mutual recognition, access, and respect will be reflected in their respective application.
The organisations will ensure that programmes meet recognised principles of certification. Certification programmes must also meet the requirements of acknowledged regulations and the following principles: truthfulness, transparency, sustainability, relevance, accessibility, efficiency, engagement, impartiality, improvement, and rigor.
Certification programmes must meet all local, national and regional requirements, legislation and regulation (e.g. REACH in Europe).
Certification programmes must be chemical-specific and comprehensive.
Certification programmes must include an on-site assessment of dressing and dyeing facilities to evaluate practices and environmental emissions.
Certification programmes must include an ongoing laboratory-based evaluation of a proportion of the final products of dressers and dyers (i.e. finished pelts). These must be carried out by an independent and reputable laboratory.
The certification programme must verify the chain of custody of the skins through the dressing and dyeing process; the verification system must be credible and impartial; and certification programmes must ensure their protocols are available to the general public. In order to validate the credibility of protocols, simplified versions of the protocols must also be publicly available. Assessment must be conducted by independent third parties, enhancing the credibility of the certification programmes.
FILK are the third-party testing institute for the dressing and dyeing chemical standard. Under the SafeFur Certification Standard, dressers and dyers must submit samples to FILK (Testing Institute) for testing followed by a subsequent monitoring visit. Given the ongoing pandemic, the on-site monitoring visits FILK conducts of dressers and dyers will resume after the pandemic.
Among other requirements, in order to be part of the Furmark® these dressers and dyers must record the precise movement of furskins through the dressing and dyeing process. FILK's on-site monitoring visit also include the verification of the chemicals described within the standard; if dressers and dyers fail to meet the criteria they will not be included in Furmark®.
To be a fully certified dresser and dyer you must meet the following conditions:
1. Only chemicals from the agreed fur chemical list should be used in processing – this will be followed up by an on-site spot-check
2. Undergo government inspections of factory outputs, as well as constant or regular on-site monitoring
3. The chemicals present in the end product must be REACH-compliant
4. Entire traceability journey tracked via Furmark®