BY: SHAWNTAE HARRIS
Purchasing faux fur is an ethical alternative to looking fashionable and chic without harming any animals. However, some stores in the UK have been selling real fur and passing it off as faux.
The fibers of cats, raccoon dogs, and mink were found in high-end British stores. Fur farms were banned in the UK in 2003. But now foreign farmed fur is trickling into British stores from Asia, according to Skynews.
The mislabelling of real animal fur is “becoming increasingly common, particularly over the past five years,” according to Phil Greaves, a fibers expert.
High-end stores like Misguided used real fur in their pink “pom pom” heels. Donna Allison, a cat-loving customer, noticed that the fur was too soft to be fake, and was disappointed that the retailers “dismissed” it as fake. When Allison reached out to Misguided they said that the fur is synthetic. But that is not the case; cat fur was used for the pink pumps.
“Whether they know they are selling it or not there needs to be something done about it. They need to be more responsible for what they are selling,” said Allison to Skynews.
A spokesperson for Misguided said, “We will be launching an internal investigation with the relevant suppliers and will ensure these matters are addressed urgently.”
Another British retailer, House of Fraser, used animal fur that was labeled synthetic. A fur expert examined the gloves and said raccoon dog fur was used to make the gloves. Racoon dogs are found in East Asia and have very soft dense fur kind of resembling a fox.
House of Fraser stopped selling the fur products and issued an apology. “We would never knowingly mislead our customers, who we believe have the right to know what they are purchasing. We are extremely concerned that fur can be mislabelled in this way, particularly for brands that we stock.”
All the products have been removed, according to the fashion store. And, customers will be given a full refund.
The House of Fraser has been caught selling animal fur in the past. Two years ago, BBC did a special examining the differences between the real and the fake. Many real furs were either not labeled or mislabeled.
And independent stores found on the strip of London had real animal fur as well. Pieces like: coats, gloves, and hats all contained real fur inside them.
A survey found that 85 per cent of Britons expect their clothes to be properly labeled. The survey went on to say that half of the people rely on touch and price to tell if the fur is real or fake. But, in the SkyNews video, a pair of gloves made with real fur sold for only €10.
The EU textile regulations clearly states that clothes containing 85 per cent of raw materials have to be properly labeled. And if a product is trimmed with fur or uses leather it has to clearly state that it contains non-textile parts of animal origin.
As the winter months leave, so will the sale of animal fur – for now.