06:58, September 20, 2022
For two centuries, the 3,500 soldiers of the royal guard have worn a black hat made of bearskin. But for the sake of animal welfare, this tradition will be abolished. And it’s a French company that will recover the contract and manufacture the hats with fake fur almost identical to that of bears.
In his Parisian showroom filled with coats, Ecopel boss Christopher Sarfati has stars in his eyes when he presents this sample of faux bear fur. It took him 18 months to make this perfect imitation, designed for the hairstyles of the famous soldiers of the royal guard. “The size of the bear’s hair is 9.5 cm. For our fibers, we use hairs rather 5 to 6 centimeters and we have managed to reduce the weight of the hat by 25%. This is a chance to be able to save our friends the bears who have no reason to be killed”, he explains at the microphone of Europe 1.
Queen Elizabeth gave up fur in 2019
And for good reason, it takes a bear to make a single hat. Once the fake fur was perfected, Christopher Sarfati was received in London by the General Staff, then in Westminster, in front of the British deputies: “Most of the deputies did not know that we killed a bear to make a hat Then, they were made very aware of the fact that for us, to offer the Royal Guard the hats, it was so close to my heart”, deciphers the boss of Ecopel.
The company has indeed undertaken to provide hats to the royal guard free of charge for ten years, if the project is successful. Christopher Sarfati is hopeful of shaking up two centuries old traditions. In 2019, Queen Elizabeth II decided to give up fur. A choice in the image of British society, where more than two thirds of Britons are in favor of banning the use of fur.