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.

DRESSERS & DYERS
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 inspection by an independent third party professional body to ensure these declarations are correct.

AGREED STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
The Dressing organizations are committed to ensuring that there are certification programs relevant to the whole fur supply chain, including the dressing and dyeing stage.

The organizations recognize that there are different certification programs relevant to different regional geographies and administered by separate authorities. They expect that these distinct programs will all meet these principles, and that mutual recognition, access, and respect will be reflected in their respective application.

The organizations will ensure that programs meet recognized principles of certification. Certification programs must also meet the requirements of acknowledged regulations and the following principles: truthfulness, transparency, sustainability, relevance, accessibility, efficiency, engagement, impartiality, improvement, and rigor.

Certification programs must meet all local, national and regional requirements, legislation and regulation (e.g. REACH in Europe).

Certification programs must be chemical-specific and comprehensive.

Certification programs must include an on-site audit of dressing and dyeing facilities to evaluate practices and environmental emissions.

FURMARK CRITERIA

Certification programs 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 program must verify the chain of custody of the skins through the dressing and dyeing process.

The verification system must be credible and impartial.

Certification programs 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.

Audits must be conducted by independent third parties, enhancing the credibility of the certification programs.

DRESSER AND DYER CERTIFICATION ELEMENTS
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