Know Your Faux From Real Fur – Retailer’s Cited For False Labeling

  • by Corrie Shenigo
  • posted at 6:29 pm
  • November 25, 2011

Faux or Fur?

Those in the fashion-know are acutely aware that faux fur is one of this season’s biggest trends… but buyer beware. Those of you wanting to both support animal rights and sport this trend may have to look a little closer.

According to a legal petition filed this week with Federal Trade Commission, The Humane Society of the United States is alleging that 11 retailers have falsely labeled or advertised fur fashions as being “faux fur” when in fact the fur used is quite real.

The Humane Society names Barneys, Neiman Marcus, Gilt, Revolve Clothing, Yoox and other online retailers in the petition as listing real fur apparel as faux fur on their websites – coaxing buyers who don’t wish to support the fur trade into inadvertently doing so.

So why is The Humane Society citing the practices of the retailers and not of the designer labels themselves? It seems that the fur garments from brands like Woolrich, Mackage, Stuart Weitzman and Marc by Marc that failed faux testing by The Humane Society did, in fact label their  own garments as “containing real fur” – oftentimes naming the type of animal — while the retail website advertised the items as ‘faux fur.’ Obviously, this puts the retailer firmly in the responsibility seat.

Senior attorney for the Humane Society in Washington D.C. Ralph Henry said, “I don’t think they’re trying to maliciously mislead consumers, but it’s a pervasive problem,” he said, suggesting the retailers do a better job of auditing their product descriptions and also citing petitions of the same cause filed in 2007 and 2008 that eventually reached a settlement.

Henry went on to explain that the problem typically occurs when an item originates in China, where fur is inexpensive, and some of the best synthetic furs are more expensive than using real fur.

So this holiday season… it’s buyer beware. Here’s a link to The Humane Society’s guide for how to tell if your fur is real or faux.

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