Faux fur is the way forward. A quick glance at the current fashion landscape – with designers like Burberry, Versace, Coach, Maison Margiela, Tom Ford and John Paul Gaultier, eschewing fur that’s fashioned the unethical (read: real) route – will tell you that much. Times are changing... For the better!

One designer whose aesthetic is wholeheartedly wedged in fake fuzz – in a riot of dreamy hues that span delicious pistachio, cloud blue and Belgian chocolate (as spied on our Fashion Assistant, Carmen) – is milliner Emma Brewin.

Handmade to order from her Kent studio – with a single hat encompassing two days of production, and just one coat taking an entire week – this sustainability advocate and proud philanthropist prides her designs on their exacting craftsmanship and, thus, longevity.

As she joins Net-A-Porter’s roster of designers – and to trace the roots of her faux-fur love affair – we met with Emma to chat all things fuzzy.

Why faux fur? Where does your inspiration come from? 
My studio is filled with second-hand furniture, trinkets and clothes that I have collected over the years. It’s my own bubble of inspiration. That said, I get most of it from the faux fur itself, playing with it and making things – but yes, I am also a collector of everything old.

Talk us through your creative process. How are the pieces brought to life?
Nearly all of my designs have been made halfway through making something different – or, it’s a case of deciding to make a hat to wear for the weekend late on a Friday night, and loving it so much that we decide to put it into production. I love to paint and draw, but I don’t really ‘design’ on paper. I go straight into making and see where the fabric takes me; I am always working with the faux fur straight away.

You’ve linked your business with numerous charitable causes, from The Bumblebee Trust to the Ugandan Abode school... What spurred the decision to go down this philanthropic route?
If I didn’t have my business, I would be working in charity – in fact, that’s what I was doing before I went full time with the brand. The rapid destruction of the planet is something that everyone must face up to and get moving together to slow down or repair. I feel so lucky to be in a position whereby I can contribute to things that I truly care about. This will always be at the forefront of everything I do.

Is that where sustainability comes in?
Everything from our packaging to the faux fur itself is sourced in the UK and none of our production is done outside of the studio. I try to be as sustainable as possible with every element of the brand. The earrings are made from our off-cuts and have reduced studio waste by around 82%.

This kind of small-scale production seems intrinsic to the brand’s DNA. Will joining Net-A-Porter affect this at all?
My studio is in Sandwich, and we make everything from start to finish in-house. It makes me feel wonderful to be able to be a part of each and every piece being made, knowing the quality and knowing that it will last. Net-A-Porter has been so incredibly supportive of the scale of the business; I have no plans to ever change our in-house production.

Why do you do what you do?
I do what I do, because it makes me feel amazing.

Find your faux favourite. Shop Emma Brewin here:

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