wanger furs
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Grading Article

In December 2006, the International Fur Trade Federation, in conjunction with American Legend Cooperative,
Finish Fur Sales, Kopenhagen Fur and North American Fur Auctions, launched a new label.

The ORIGIN ASSURED (OA) label assures consumers the fur used in the garment they intend to purchase comes from a country where national or local regulations or standards of animal care and welfare are in force. The label was introduced at the auctions in December 2006 and was available at the consumer level beginning Fall/Winter 2007.

For quality assurance, however, each auction house awards their own label to the best furs that arrive at their respective locations. American Legend Cooperative has American Legend, and Blackglama. Finish Fur Sales has Saga Mink, and Saga Fox classified as ROYAL, SUPERIOR, and SELECT. Kopenhagen Fur recently launched Kopenhagen Purple, Kopenhagen Platinum, Kopenhagen Burgundy, and Kopenhagen Ivory. North American Fur Auctions has NAFAGOLD. Fur Harvesters represents Yukon Gold, Nunavut Seal, Genuine Mackenzie Valley Furs and Fur Harvesters labels.

These internationally-recognized labels, combined with the new OA label will demonstrate to consumers the fur industry’s commitment to quality, integrity and straightforwardness. This transparency is important as the industry creates fur’s new identity. Proving fur to be, not only a luxury item, but also an ecologically sound investment — especially when compared to the nonbiodegradable materials that go into making man-made, artificial fur.

Today’s customer is no longer simply brand-conscious. Today’s customer wants to understand the philosophies of their brands. It’s up to the retailer to explain to the consumer what goes into judging these awards, and why these labels are only awarded to the furs, ranched and wild, that have made the grade.

While each auction house grades their skins using a slightly different method, the following overview presents terms and guidelines common to all auctions and most pelt types. This information will enable retailers to educate their customers on a fur’s quality and value, as well as style and luxury.