Don’t assume cheap fur is fake

fur hat
CC BY 2.0 Ryan McGuire

Humane Society International investigation reveals that real fur is being sold as fake.

It’s not just vegans who draw the line at fur. Many people don’t want to support the fur trade, which raises animal solely for their pelts in miserable conditions and ends their lives in horrible ways.

But a recent investigation from Humane Society International reveals that it may be harder to avoid buying fur than you might realize. Many people opt for the look of fur by choosing fuzzy fake alternatives, but Humane Society found that a number of shops and vendors in the UK sell items with real fur that’s either not labeled as such or even mislabeled as fake.

One of the mislabeled items was a pair of gloves with real fur trim, carrying a label that said 20 percent polyester, 80 percent wool. A jacket with real fur trim was labeled 100 percent polyester.

Similar problems have also happened in the U.S. Humane Society found a real fur jacket masquerading as fake at Barney’s, and “faux-fur” handbags at Kohl’s that turned out to really be lined with rabbit fur.

According to a poll conducted by the UK government, 85 percent of British citizens expect fur to be labeled. The same poll also finds that most people rely on cost and feel to determine if trim on a garment is real or faux.

But both these indicators can be misleading. As garment manufacturers create more convincing fakes, it can be harder to tell the difference between a cruelty-free faux and a real fur garment.

The cost of producing fur has also gone down thanks to globalization, although many shoppers associate real fur with high prices. According to Humane Society International, wholesalers may sell rabbit fur from China for as little as £1 per meter or a raccoon dog pompom for just 30 pence.

Humane Society International’s UK branch is calling on its government to make garment labeling laws stronger, as well as asking citizens to sign a petition.

“It is unacceptable that inadequate labeling could be leading British consumers to buy real fur believing it to be fake,” said Claire Bass, executive director of Humane Society International UK in a press statement. “So we’re calling on the government to introduce clear labelling of all animal fur items including the animal species and country of origin.”

Tags: Animal Welfare | Clothing | Fur | Shopping


treehugger slideshows